Local high school students start business, inspire generous life - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Local high school students start business, inspire generous lifestyle

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High school seniors find themselves juggling homework, part-time jobs, extra curricular activities, and college applications. Somewhere in the middle of all that, they still have to squeeze in some fun. Three seniors at Gardendale High School do all of that, and run a business. They've made it their business to give back.

"We started taking this class our sophomore year and we didn't think anything of it. We just did it just because. And we grew to love it," said Tiffany Otis.

Tiffany Otis, Lexie Bear and Kennedy Webster are friends and business partners. They spend several hours each week a classroom making T-shirt designs.

The idea came out of a class assignment. It's turned into a whole lot more. The screen designs are now a business called Mission 118.

"We were going to give half of our profit to a charity. And we were searching around for a name and we thought well why don't we go to the halfway point of the bible. And the mid point of the bible is Psalm 118," said Webster.

The first line of the verse talks about giving thanks to the lord. With Psalm 118 in mind, they set out to spread a positive message throughout their school and community with the T-shirt designs. Their main message is "live generously".

"We believe that there are many areas in life where people should be generous and we really just want to raise up generations that are passionate about giving with their time, talents, money and love," said Bear.

Their ad design teacher, Melanie Jones, says she's proud to see her students using their talents for a greater good.

"When I come in here and I see these girls do things like this I have to know that it is divinely inspired by God," said Jones.

"The things that we want people to see are things that helped us during times when we were down or just things that inspire us,"said Bear.

The girls say it motivates them when they see people at school or in their community displaying their messages about grace, love and giving.

"It's people we don't really know personally and they've seen us Facebook or they've heard about us and you see it and it's your design and it's pretty cool," said Kennedy.

In fact, they've even seen a transformation within themselves. Though originally inspired by the halfway point of the Bible, they've decided to go all the way with their giving.

"Everyday we've been thinking about generosity and that's been our focus. It has really changed us because now the plan is to give away all the profit," said Bear.

Right now they are still in the fundraising phase to continue getting Mission 118 up and running. They want Mission 118 to officially become a non-profit organization sometime in the new year. So far, about 80 shirts have been sold.

For more information visit www.mission118.com

Or follow the group on twitter at @mission118.


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