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Student of the Month: Dashanti Jackson

“Persistence, sound judgment and responsibility,” YE student Dashanti Jackson spills her formula for entrepreneurial success. “Oh, and you’ve got to be others-focused.” With that principled mindset, it came as no surprise to YE educator Eugene Pope when his student from Hyde Park Academy in Chicago was selected as YE Student of the Month. “Dashanti is the epitome of a young entrepreneur: She found a way to make money doing something she loves,” he explains. 

Dashanti, who enrolled in the YE class five months ago, has already created and launched a business, Ka’torri’s Glossy Glam. With rave reviews and sales far exceeding her expectations, Dashanti has taken a crash course in what it means to be an entrepreneur. We caught up with her to hear how she’s overcoming some of her biggest challenges and what has helped her lip gloss business shine. 

How did you come up with the idea for Ka’torri’s Glossy Glam? 
I decided that I wanted to put myself out there, earn my own money and do something productive. So, one day, I was talking to my friends about some business ideas, and we had this idea to sell lip gloss. 

What makes your product unique? 
I’ve done my research, and unlike a lot of other Instagram businesses that are putting their logo on a premade product, my lip gloss is totally handmade. 
Have you had any big learning moments? 
When I started selling my lip gloss, I sold out in two weeks. I restocked and immediately sold out again. I’ve learned a lot about supply and demand – and having enough backstock. Right now, I’m trying to raise the capital to last me five months. 

 What role has YE played in your journey? 
YE leads you to be an entrepreneur. Everything Dr. Pope has taught me will help me in real life – from learning how to make business cards, to making a website, and everything I need to know to create my own business. He pushes me to think about my customers and gives me perfect advice to help me improve my product. 

Who has been your biggest supporter? 
Everyone! Dr. Pope, my other teachers, the lunch ladies, my classmates – everyone is buying my lip gloss. I’ve never had that support system before, so it feels good to have people who feel proud of me. That support makes me want to do better. It encourages me to do more.  

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? 
You can't do everything on your own. You still need help because, as an entrepreneur, you’re always learning. But once you have that support behind you, everything is a breeze.  

Congratulations again, Dashanti! We can’t wait to see where your business takes you in the future. 

Know a principled opportunity-seeker like Dashanti who should win this award? Place your nomination.  

Read more about previous Student of the Month winners.