Esther Winter coordinates Mayo’s MAKE IT Club

Esther Winter

Esther Winter is coordinating Mayo’s after school MAKE IT Club for the second year in a row. Grades 6 and 7 students meet twice a month to make crafts and prepare them for markets—learning entrepreneurial mindset along the way. A Junior MAKE IT Club with grades 4 and 5 aged students also meets once a month. These youth try out real-life business projects, which make educational subjects such as teamwork, persuasive writing, budgeting and pricing meaningful and fun.  

These youth could not ask for a better mentor: Esther has run her business Winterchild Jewellery from Mayo, Yukon since 1995, and she now shares her wealth of knowledge on crafting, pricing, and preparing products for markets with young makers.  

MAKE IT Club, which stands for Mayo Artistic Kids and Entrepreneurs, teaches youth that entrepreneurship is a way to monetize creativity and look at the possibilities of anything by asking, “how can I make this profitable?” It’s about finding opportunity and making something with your own hands that people will appreciate and purchase, which builds self-esteem and belief in the value of the things that youth create.  
Mayo MAKE IT ClubThis fall, MAKE IT Club used wood burning techniques to create birch slice ornaments, and wooden key chains with fun sayings. The youth also made wire Christmas ornaments, earrings and necklaces. The youth are excited for a field trip this spring and decided to donate the proceeds from their crafts towards the cost of their trip. 

MAKE IT Club is an important outlet for youth at a critical time in their lives. “Youth in Mayo have been through a lot these past few years and having something to look forward to helps keep them involved. During the first year of MAKE IT Club, Class attendance in school was higher on the days that the MAKE IT Club was on, and parents are thankful for giving kids something concrete to do,” shared Esther.  

Over the past three years, two in the classroom and one at the MAKE IT Club, Esther has seen youth put their skills into action with their own small ventures, including local landscaping and selling lemonade at the farmer’s market!  

Photo: Esther Winter

YukonU I&E program coordinator Josée Belisle collaborates with community partners like Esther Winter throughout Yukon communities to offer workshops and skills so that community members can do what they do best, in a way that is financially sustainable. Our team works closely to connect community members to funding, entrepreneurship programs and services.  

Email if you have a small business, an idea, or entrepreneurship training you want to deliver in your community.

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