Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brittany Yurkovitch, founder of Classroom Counterpoints, located in Weston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Classroom Counterpoints is a 501(c)(3) charity born from a teacher's frustration with the traditional public school classroom. Many people are waking up from the public school nightmare and are embracing alternative education plans that inspire young minds. Classroom Counterpoints is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to support parents and teachers in the pursuit of providing students with a high-quality education that encourages critical thinking and celebrates the achievements of Western Civilization.
Tell us about yourself
I am a Texas social studies teacher who, along with other parents and educators, founded Classroom Counterpoints in 2018 to help parents and teachers better control their students’ education. I have taught various courses, including Advanced Placement and college transition courses, and worked in different school settings, including middle and high Title 1 public schools and a STEM Academy.
When teaching, I believe it is essential to examine how social studies subjects are taught. Furthermore, it is important that our students feel excited about their people's history and celebrate the achievements of Western Civilization. Unfortunately, I found that teaching in this way- especially when encouraging creative and critical thinking- was an uphill battle against an unreasonable public school bureaucracy that struggled to both disciplines chronically disobedient students and support creative, enthusiastic teachers.
Currently, I tutor high school students remotely and am in the early stages of homeschooling my young children. I am the editor of The Weston Post, Classroom Counterpoint's quarterly civics-engagement magazine for the town of Weston.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
2022 has been a year of accomplishment for the charity, specifically with The Weston Post magazine. This spring, I taught a course to homeschool students called, Get Published: The Weston Post. I taught some journalism and helped students craft articles for the magazine. Their blurbs were excellent, and they were so excited to see their stories in print. It felt great to have created a platform to showcase superb student writing while teaching a course fusing history and journalism. I could not have done this in the public school system, and I viewed this as a major teaching moment in my profession.
Furthermore, at the beginning of 2022, The Weston Post was recognized as a historically significant periodical for Texas and is now included in the University of North Texas's Portal to Texas History, a newspaper archival program.
One of the best stories we published was written by a local physician and concerned the significance of a man born and raised on a small farm just a few miles away from Weston: Brigadier General Carl Darnall. BG Darnall invented the water chlorination system present in all modern municipal water systems. Clean drinking water has saved hundreds of millions of lives across the planet. His significance as an American inventor is on par with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, or Henry Ford, yet few know about him because he never wanted to patent his invention as he believed it belonged to humanity.
It was an honor to publish this piece on local history and watch awareness of this fantastic figure of Western Civilization spread throughout the community. Local historical organizations and government organizations have begun taking time to honor his achievements publicly, and I am thrilled to have helped educate the community about this local hero.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Finding the time to do everything I want to do is such a challenge. Not only am I publishing a quarterly magazine and running a charity, but I have three young children I homeschool and many farm animals to take care of. Life is very busy, but it is rewarding to be plugged into my local community while providing a service to them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Tips if you are interested in creating a charity:
- Do serious research to see if any organizations are already providing the service you want to deliver in the community. Sometimes, these charities already exist but are desperate for volunteers. Volunteering with an organization with a similar or related mission can help you determine whether or not to go for it and make the leap into the 501(c)(3) world.
- Get connected. Charities require funds along with a board of directors to steer the charity in the right direction. This means you need others to help you fulfill your mission and raise funds. You need to get plugged into the community of people who will help support your organization as a director, volunteer, or donor.
- You don't need to spend a ton of money to get started. A lot of people are intimidated when they begin looking at what they need to do to get the coveted 501(c)(3) designation. There are tons of free resources (and low-cost legal help) with step-by-step instructions on forming your charity.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you have any questions about Classroom Counterpoints, please email email@example.com.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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