In southeast Raleigh, a lesson in character - one cup of lemonade at a time

Monday, August 07, 2017 11:43PM
Aniya Williams, 11, and 12-year old Isaiah Lattimer are changing their fortunes - one cup of lemonade at a time.


RALEIGH, North Carolina - If you add it all up, American families spend about $25 billion a year on school supplies; A little more than $630 per family. But in many communities, like this one in southeast Raleigh, that's just not a realistic number.

But, under a bright yellow tent on the corner of N. King Charles Road and Summerkings Court, 11-year old Aniya Williams and 12-year old Isaiah Lattimer are changing their fortunes - one cup of lemonade at a time.

The pair is spending the summer becoming the neighborhood's entrepreneurial stars.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" Aniya and Isaiah said as they gleefully recited the slogan of their lemonade stand they're calling "Sweet & Sour Lemonade."



In a section of Raleigh where the median income is dramatically lower than the city's average and unemployment much higher - Aniya and Isaiah were faced with starting school later this month without new school supplies and clothes.

And so, their business was born.

"The reason why we're doing this is to help our moms buy school clothes and school supplies," Aniya said.

They say business is booming.

"Every day we at least try to make over $100," Isaiah said.

They're turning neighbor after neighbor into smiling customers.

"It's a great effort in terms of what they're doing, trying to sell lemonade to buy school supplies," said neighbor James Walker. "I just could not go by and not make a contribution."



Like any good entrepreneurs, Aniya and Isaiah want to grow the business. Last week, they addressed the judges at the United Way's Innovation Challenge. It's a contest for residents to create practical solutions in their low-income communities.

"We're trying to help people across the community and so we can give other kids ideas, so they can stay out of trouble," Isaiah said.

The children's mentor on this lemonade mission is Geraldine Alshamy. The community advocate has been galvanizing neighborhood support and supplementing the youngsters' supplies so they can keep most of their profit.

"It's a lot more than just about lemonade. It's about building character," Alshamy said.

And with this sweet taste of success, Aniya and Isaiah are already thinking about what's next.

"What's next is we're making hot chocolate in the winter," Aniya revealed.

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