One of the many things Ernie Jaeger is known for is his generosity. He not only donated money to local arts and sports programs, participated in fundraisers, and was active in his community, Ernie also donated his time - a very valuable resource in todays busy world. Both Ernie and Lisa are very passionate about helping advance and promote individuals in the skilled trades. They offer opportunities for jobs, apprenticeships, and mentoring to all who are interested or recruited. Their family, friends, employees and the youth in their community have benefited from their efforts to help and pass on their entrepreneurial knowledge and experiences. Passing on positive energy and contributing to a worthy cause was and still is an integral part of Ernie & Lisa’s philosophy both in business and their personal lives.
One of the programs that Ernie and Lisa were involved in is the INCubator@BHS - Batavia High School’s INCubator Entrepreneurship Program
Ernie and Lisa decided to participate in BHS INCubator program with a team of 4 boys to help start Elevation (student lead entrepreneurial business). I say started because Ernie’s battle with cancer abruptly stopped his involvement with this group. After contacting one of the BHS members of Elevation, they had nothing but good things to say about Ernie and how influential and motivating he was for them to continue on even though it was only a short time he was able to help out.
Team: Elevation consists of 4 group members Tyler Piron, Keegan Miller, Matt Rash and Michael Kelly.
Here is their story…“Team Elevation works with sports and clubs, including Football, Soccer, art, and band in order to create a fun party experience for kids that helps to strengthen the bonds between current and future Batavia athletes and programs as well as help kids connect to their peers in a way that best fits them. What we provide to the parents and people who purchase our service is a location, discounts on food, and athletes or club members and equipment from the high school activity of their choice for a low price. Both the sports and programs as well as the athletes and club members that work with us receive donations for working with us and the children. While that's a summary of our business, what our goals are are much greater. We as a company hope to be able to work with children and provide activities that help get them involved and become apart of their community, and the best way we were able to discover was by using high schoolers as a middle ground and support to let the kids interact and create bonds with kids who have the same interest. While it's not the program we originally intended and workshopped with Ernie and Lisa, it was the best solution to ultimately reach our final goal of helping others. I could not express how much Ernie and Lisa helped our business grow. They were fantastic to work with and were the ones that made our project change from an idea to a reachable goal. And while unfortunately we weren't able to work with them as much as we wanted, due to a situation out of our control, the time we had with them was invaluable and is something we will never forget as an organization. They helped us in both the business aspect and the emotional aspect of what we wanted to achieve, with both their expertise in running and business and Lisa expertise working with emotional health and children. Again I could not express our gratitude to them during this process. Currently our company just competed in a business pitching competition through Batavia high school. We went against 20 other teams and were able to get 3rd place and earn $1000 to get our company off the ground. For the future we hope to continue expanding our business in the future and begin to branch out nationally.
We want to make sure our story as well as the ways Ernie and Lisa helped us gets heard.
Our team would like to add, however, that there were multiple times during the process where we had a lot of doubt in ourselves and our ideas and they were always the two that kept us on the right path and made us motivated to continue even after bad experiences throughout our journey. “
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Our hopes for posting this article is to pass on the positive energy of this group (Elevation) and to promote programs like the INCubator@BHS and encourage others to get involved. The mutually beneficial partnership between a local company and a group of entrepreneurial students where each partner takes a proactive interest in the other, working together to bring about their shared success is extremely gratifying and worth the experience.