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Young And Hungry
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It’s no secret and it’s honestly hard to keep quiet about. I truly believe myself to be one of the luckiest ladies in this community.

This ‘luck’ I speak of has little to do with monetary value, an extravagant home, car or vacation. My luck… no… my luck comes in the way of what is titled ‘work’, yet enables me so much more than a paycheck.

To live and work in the same town where your children go to school is a gift not lost on me. To work in a ‘business’ which allows you to meet students early in their academic career and go on to do great and notable things as adults is a gift.

Young people make me happy. That’s a real simplistic sentence for someone who gets paid to string along thoughts, but it’s really that simple.

Oakdale’s youth are a very special breed. In short, they are just good kids. No. They are not perfect, but as a whole they are good, respectful, kind hearted humans.

Recently I had the honor of meeting with two young ladies at a local elementary school. The cause for our meeting was a business they have set their sights on starting. In the coming weeks, their story will be ready for our readers.

Today, as I wait for them to finalize a few things and get ‘ready’ for their business to become public knowledge, I can’t help but feel inspired by these two young ladies.

Earlier this month I discussed their idea with them, how they came to be friends because of a shared passion for something and the vision they had for making it a business. They confided in me how many friends had laughed at their idea. How adults have told them it is ‘cute’ and how serious they are about making this real.

As we spoke and I took notes, this was an interview after all, I have a job to do, they shared how it felt to be laughed at for having a dream. They shared how the naysayers inspired them more than defeated them. How they knew they had a good solid business idea and plan. Yes, these elementary aged ladies shared with me their Business Plan.

Then, they did something I’ve yet to be faced with. Rather than share it all and reassure me of their oncoming success they posed a heartfelt question.

“Do you think we’re crazy?” they asked. “Do you think this can work?”

Those who know me personally know; I’m a dreamer. I am perhaps the worst person these young ladies could have posed this question to. Their passion and commitment not only had me believing in them, but rooting for them.

As I answered, I shared some thoughts on things which might help them be taken more seriously by adults and their peers. I told them I am a firm believer that if you do what you love, you will never fail… yourself or your family.

Do I think they’ll be millionaires as a result of this business idea? It’s hard to say.

As I both listened and looked at all they had planned, what I knew was they will succeed. If not in this business, then the next one or an idea they dream up as an offshoot of something else. Their individual spirits and tenacity are destined to take them places.

In the words of Michael Jordan, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

These young ladies are destined to make things happen. I can hardly wait to see what those ‘things’ are.

In short… I’m a lucky lady.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.