Student Run Business At Bertha-Hewitt High Aiming To Help Buffalo Community Heal

NextGen Bears is making signs to be auctioned off at the Chamber of Commerce with the proceeds going towards those affected by Tuesday's events

BERTHA, Minn. (KVRR) – After one person was killed and four were injured in Tuesday’s shooting at Allina Health Clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota; one student-run business at a school not too far away is trying to make a difference.

Next Gen Bears out of a Bertha-Hewitt High School is making lake and home style signs for the Buffalo community.

“You need to help others in order to help yourself,” said Ashley Warren of NextGen Bears accounting. “It makes you feel much better than not doing anything at all.”

Once made, everything is shipped off to the Chamber of Commerce where it’ll be auctioned off and the proceeds go towards helping those affected by the tragic shooting.

“I know people who go through hard times with COVID and now that happening,” said Warren. “It’s hard for families and individuals.”

“When we do like the schools, we’re doing it for them to just put up,” said Kaylee Baker of shipping NextGen Bears. “This, I feel like we’re going to help people bring them a little bit of joy.”

“It feels really good to help people and let them know we care,” said Hunter Dean in manufacturing. “Just like letting people know when they’re down, there is always people out there to help them.”

Three years ago a few faculty member wanted to create a way for students to stay engaged outside of regular classes. They had the technology and the aptitude to learn more. From there, the business was born.

“We started talking about what can we do to give the kids a different kind of experience than just regular school,” said Karla Weishalla who teaches entrepreneurship at Bertha-Hewitt High.

“We have our lake signs we make, so a lot of those and we make anything custom pretty much as much as we get,” said Dean.

It’s run out of the high school but over the last two years they’ve shipped to over 20 states including North Dakota where they have a licensing agreement to sell NDSU signs at Scheels in Fargo. The venture continues to grow.

Categories: Community, Minnesota News