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Student of the Month: Rich Garris

Drive, passion, opportunity, humility. For most, these words conjure thoughts of CEOs, venture capitalists and startups – not a high school senior from southeastern Kansas. 
But those descriptors are exactly why Rich Garris has been chosen as the YE Student of the Month. 
We spoke with Rich, his YE teacher, Mr. Thompson, and YE staff member Tory Chambers to get the low down on what makes Rich so opportunity obsessed.

Tory: Out of 46 YE students at Independence High School, Rich was the only one who took the opportunity to pitch his Market Day business in front of 80 members of the Independence Chamber of Commerce. He’s also the only student doing online sales of his Market Day product, BeastMode PopSockets.

Rich: Our school, Independence High School, has strong school spirit, and we wanted to capitalize on that. Our mascot is the Bulldog, and the majority of students and staff have Bulldog-themed t-shirts, sweatshirts, backpacks and other items like that. One product was conspicuously missing: pop sockets. There was a lot of initial interest, and that inspired us to get started.

Mr. Thompson: Rich has begun to come out of his shell this year. He did an exceptional job of pitching his market day business at the Chamber of Commerce. I try to put students into situations that make them talk in front of others (like the Invention Activity), and I believe this has helped his natural growth as a person. 

Rich: Mr. Thompson has been there every step of the way. He has shown me that getting your idea out there is more important than perfecting it endlessly.

Mr. Thompson: He’s doing everything he can to get where he wants to go while displaying characteristics of YE’s Foundational Values like Responsibility, Knowledge and Opportunity.
Rich: Every decision that I make, I consider the impact that it will have on others, and I try to follow my morals to the utmost degree when making decisions. I'm not perfect, but I try to be the best that I can be.

Mr. Thompson: He's a great student that excels at whatever he puts his mind to. He’s doing everything he can to get where he wants to go. I see big things in Rich’s future!

So do we! Congratulations to Rich and we wish you the best in your pop socket business and all of your future endeavors. 
Know a stellar YE student like Rich who should win this award? Place your nomination.

Read more about previous Student of the Month winners.