Wauconda FBLA partners with their local Mathnasium

At Wauconda High School, students Emily Carney, Lilah Hill, and Nicolas Ganek have always shared a love for helping others. Whether it be volunteering with their FBLA peers or cleaning up trash on the roads every weekend, the trio is always eager to lend their assistance.

This is why when choosing their Future Business Leaders of America event, they landed on the Partnership with Business Project.

Unlike many other FBLA events that give written prompts for students to base their presentations off of, this event requires its team to approach a business in their local area and help it reach its goals over the course of several months. The partnership must benefit the business, as well as positively affect FBLA’s Chapter.

For this event, the three Future Business leaders have partnered with the Wauconda Mathnasium. Mathnasium is an international math tutoring franchise that helps kids catch up, keep up and get ahead in their math curriculum.

After learning about the struggles kids are currently facing with their math proficiency, the Partnership Team became even more passionate about the tutoring company.

“All you hear about nowadays is the number of kids struggling with learning after the pandemic,” Hill said. “We want to use this opportunity to help students in the Wauconda area develop a positive relationship with math.”

Along with this, they want to connect with the younger generations and build stronger relationships with fellow kids in the Wauconda School District. Ganek, who has been a loyal Mathnasium instructor for over a year, knew right away how their project was going to make a difference.

“After every shift, I had the same feeling in my heart that I was doing something bigger than myself, that I was making a lasting impact,” he said. “Each student gets to learn their own way and feel important. That is something every child deserves.”

The partnership between Mathnasium and FBLA has only been active for a few months, but quite a bit has already been achieved. The Team has raised $750 for their chapter by putting together fundraisers such as Putt Putt Golf and Trivia Night at the Mathnasium. They have also been busy recruiting over 50 FBLA students to volunteer at elementary schools and play math games with the children there.

Wauconda FBLA members Lilah Hill, Nicolas Ganek and Emily Carney give an opening speech at their FBLA Trivia Fundraiser. Courtesy of Wendy Mills

“I think it’s commonly misconstrued that math has to be boring and tedious,” Carney said, “but Mathnasium has taught me this is absolutely not the case.”

After spending countless hours with the younger crowd, the team can all agree: Kids cannot get enough of math.

Hill, Carney, and Ganek have also created a STEAM club at Mathnasium for grades 1-8. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math. The club is open not only to enrolled students, but to outside students as well.

Students watch their s’mores bake in their handmade pizza box ovens during an FBLA STEAM Club. Courtesy of Wendy Mills

“The goal is to provide math education for young people, by young people,” Mathnasium Center Director Jennifer Kuhn said.

To inform the public about the partnership, Maria Weisbruch of the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce hosted Kuhn and the Partnership Team on her Facebook Live 10-in-10 interview earlier in January.

Wauconda FBLA volunteers pose with the Wauconda Grade School mascot after a completed Math Night with elementary students. Courtesy of Wendy Mills

The trio has taken to social media to record their behind the scenes journey, as well as to better promote Mathnasium’s services and provide more insight on what the partnership has to offer. Their posts can be seen on Tiktok, Youtube, or Instagram @FBLAandMathnasium or @waucondamath.

“We knew FBLA was the best way to help Mathnasium extend its reach,” Ganek said.

The Partnership Team is confident in their abilities to affect their community and are striving for a place at Nationals this year in Orlando, Florida.

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