Student Entrepreneurs Help Downtown Businesses

Highland Park High School’s Young Entrepreneur’s Club president Jason Tananbaum owns sneaker resale business Kicks350, so when downtown stores were damaged during unrest in June, club members decided to help.

“From (Kicks350), I’ve met a lot of people in the community,” Tananbaum said. “That’s kind of how I met some of the owners of these stores that were looted.”

The idea to support the businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic and unrest emerged during a meeting with fellow club officers, Crawford Mulligan and Dawson McDonagh.

“We decided that making a fundraiser to financially benefit small businesses that were impacted by all the looting would be something that we could manageably do,” Tananbaum said.

The club ended up raising $8,724 via a GoFundMe page, beating its $8,500 goal. Businesses helped included clothing/shoe stores Guns and Roses Boutique, Sneaker Politics, and Nollege, according to the page.

The club started about two years ago for students interested in business.

“This is the biggest service thing we’ve done,” Tananbaum added. 

McDonagh, secretary of the club, said he also got into the business through Tananbaum.

“We were all horrified by the death of George Floyd,” McDonagh said, adding they then saw the looting and its heavy impact on someone they knew.

“We realized that we had the platform to gather money to help the businesses recuperate all the assets that they lost and any wages that they could no longer pay their workers,” he said.

Mulligan, vice president of the club, said he’s been pleased by the support the fundraising effort received.

“We were really just amazed by how much it took off,” Mulligan said. “It was really awesome. We’re glad to be able to help people out.”

Samuel Standridge, the faculty sponsor for the club, praised the students’ efforts and civic understanding in the present moment.

“Even before COVID-19 and before opportunists ruined the Dallas peaceful protests, small business owners were and are in many ways being squeezed in a variety of ways, and they’re only being compounded now,” Standridge said.

Want To Help? Visit and search for “HP Young Entrepreneurs Club for small businesses.”

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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