Making Money Moves: Student Bosses


Jenna Kulka

Ryan Kulka and Luke Dillen, owners of Edinboro Lawn Care.

Abigail Romba, Reporter

   As some of you know, General McLane High School is filled with young, talented students. But did you know that GMHS is also filled with young entrepreneurs?

   An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business who takes on a greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. It is said that our generation is more entrepreneurial than those in the past.  With widespread access to technology, many of our students have launched their own successful businesses using their talents to make money.

   Sophomore Gabe Williams does and does not consider himself an entrepreneur.  “What I do has been done by other people before, but I am entirely self funded and operate my business,” he stated.

   Williams buys inexpensive broken dirt bikes and four wheelers, repairs them and sells them on various websites for a substantial profit.  Williams got the idea for his business because he owns four wheelers and dirt bikes and as he wanted to to save money when they broke, he would fix them. Williams figured out that fixing other machines was the same process, and that he could make a decent profit.

   Williams had experience before he started his business.  He learned a lot of it from his cousin, who had also worked on his own machines. Williams’ hours vary throughout the week. Some weeks he could be fixing a machine for up to ten hours. He may also have to travel to pick up the machines, which can add an extra two hours to the total cost of his time, but he doesn’t mind because he loves what he does.

   Ellen Eisert, a junior at GMHS, has her own photography business. Eisert got the idea after she had photographed events for family and friends. Eisert started out taking photos at her brother’s basketball games because she liked capturing people’s favorite moments. Esiert had taken so many photos that she did not know what to do with them, so she decided to start a photography website.

   Eisert started her business about a year ago so that she would be able to capture family events.  Eisert’s family created an event to raise money and spread awareness of Cystic Fibrosis. Eisert thought that it was a great time to kick start her business. Eisert likes to do photo shoots with friends and family and she also likes to challenge herself with different styles of photography.  During her freshman year, she had the opportunity to take Mrs. Hodas’ Photography I and II classes where she learned about composition and all of the elements that come together to create the perfect picture. Eisert continue to develop her skills with the help of some local photographers.

   Eisert has photographed weddings, portraits, and many more events. Eisert does not have assigned hours a week, but she will do photoshoots or work on her website.  Eisert said, “I love what I do and my favorite part of photography is capturing moments and memories of people especially sports events, because it is not something that you can pose for and it is genuine emotion.”  Ellen would call herself an entrepreneur because there are many people who have helped her get to the place that she is now.  She loves capturing special moments for people.

   Senior Ryan Kulka also has his own photography business, but his many gig is his lawn care company.  He owns Edinboro Lawn Care with his best friend senior Luke Dillen.  Kulka and Dillen started their business because they love being outdoors and working in the community. Kulka and Dillen have one employee and are hiring in the summer.

   Kulka advertises the business by flyers, word of mouth, and through the relationship they established with Wellman Trucking and Landscaping Supplies.  He uses technology to schedule appointments and stay organized.  Kulka had experience before he started his business from helping his parents with their yard work. Kulka and Dillen’s work hours vary each week during school, but during the summer they can work up to thirty-five hours a week.  Kulka stated that he enjoys what he does, most of the time but not on the really hot days. Nonetheless he persists. “I know that I am helping other people and my name is behind me,” he stated.

   GMHS has launched several new classes to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in other students. Classes like Ice House, Inventionland, Intro to Business, and Social Media for Marketing teach students the skills needed to develop their own ideas and products and how to use technolgy to market them.  Other electives at GM help students develop their skills and discover talents that could lead to starting their own business.

   If you are a young entrepreneur and would like to be featured in an upcoming “Lancer Ledger” we would love to tell your story!  See Mrs. Zona in Room 100 for details.