Lemonade Day, an organization that helps spark an entrepreneurial spirit in youth by giving them the tools to create and execute their own small business, has a new leader in Heights resident Nicole Cassier-Mason.
“The most important aspect of our program is to bring in together youth entrepreneurial education combined with experiential learning that truly delivers a deeply impactful result,” Cassier-Mason said. “You can learn it all day, but until you need that real life application where you’re testing skills, building confidence and giving the creative ambition to go after your dream.”
According to Cassier-Mason, Lemonade Day plays a vital role in the greater workforce system as the pandemic has shown the discrepancy of wealth in the workforce. Lemonade Day is teaching business and financial literacy at a young age, which Cassier-Mason said is giving children a better chance at success.
With 12 years of prior experience at a Houston nonprofit that developed housing for homeless and at-risk families, Cassier-Mason joined Lemonade Day with both a personal a professional passion. She said she feels she is now on the other side of the problem when it comes to the underserved and has a chance to help people bridge the gap between what they learn in school and how to apply it to real life.
“I aspire for Lemonade Day to be nationally and internationally known as the leader for preparing youth for life through entrepreneurial programs,” Cassier-Mason said, "while serving as many youths possible with an emphasis on the underserved.”
Cassier-Mason's vision to be nationally and internationally known begins with maximizing the potential in the programs that already exist in cities across the United States. In a city like Houston, Lemonade Day would often partner with a chamber of commerce or a school, which would offer Lemonade Day’s program as an afterschool program.
Now, Lemonade Day has a digital platform, which has opened the door for opportunity, both with the organization and to children who didn’t go to a school that had Lemonade Day.
“Our new digital platform is helping us bring the program to kids in the existing cities and we’re using that as a way to attract new cities for the program,” Cassier-Mason said.
Currently, Lemonade Day is seeking to launch its program in Chicago, Boston, Miami and New York.
The plans to go international are more about being opportunistic and having the resources available.
Cassier-Mason mentioned people from other countries stumbling across Lemonade Day, and the organization being able to respond and have tools available for them to use.
For example, both Madrid, Spain and South Africa are on Lemonade Day’s radar, Madrid because Lemonade Day’s curriculum is already translated into Spanish and South Africa because the developers of Lemonade Day’s digital platform are from there.
To learn more about Lemonade Day, visit lemonadeday.org/Houston.