A mural of Jefferson takes up the better part of a wall at the local Firehouse Subs. “The fact that Firehouse Subs has TJ painted on their wall at the plaza behind the school, that definitely shows that we have a certain level of influence over them as well. Meeting up after school, the atmosphere provided to students by these stores, really helps with students’ spirit in general,” Wang said. (A. Wang)
A mural of Jefferson takes up the better part of a wall at the local Firehouse Subs. “The fact that Firehouse Subs has TJ painted on their wall at the plaza behind the school, that definitely shows that we have a certain level of influence over them as well. Meeting up after school, the atmosphere provided to students by these stores, really helps with students’ spirit in general,” Wang said.

A. Wang

When Partnerships Prevail

Jefferson students interact with local businesses through after-school visits and fundraisers.

November 14, 2022

You’re new to Jefferson. You reluctantly make a Facebook account, perhaps get tricked into believing the third floor pool exists–what next? You learn the way to local restaurants.

Jefferson students frequent a few hangout spots, from plaza favorites to restaurants a bit farther from school campus. Ocha Tea, located on Little River Turnpike, is one of those shops. 

“We do get a lot of students after football games, or before the football games. Sometimes cheerleaders would come but right now it’s mainly the track students,” Ocha Tea employee Bryce James Machie said. 

Small stores, including Ocha Tea, are especially impacted by Jefferson customers. 

“I would say they definitely helped with our sales, because right now, the store’s not doing so well,” Machie said. “But having the students that do come, they do help.”

Not only do students support local businesses, but businesses also support students through fundraisers. At the end of the last school year, TJ Space program, formerly Nanosat, needed to raise money to attend the Small Satellite Conference

“We were the only team that [was] representing a high school and then obviously student travel was very expensive. So that’s why we decided that we needed to do some fundraising to support our trip to Utah in August,” junior Amanda Wang, TJ Space project director, said.

TJ Space’s 2022 J-day booth sold bubble tea to Jefferson students. While TJ Space made a large profit, the bubble tea shop, Tan-cha, reaped benefits from the fundraiser as well. “They’re printing their logo on the cups that we were using for J-Day. So advertising is also a great opportunity [for businesses],” Wang said.

To collect the money, TJ Space program sold bubble tea from Tan-cha tea, located about a mile away from Jefferson. Their J-day booth sold out completely just as the day ended. 

“We sold 300 teas. I think we made about $1500. We did sell pretty much perfectly on time,” Wang said. 

Another Jefferson club, TJ LaunchX, held a successful fundraiser at Five Guys on the day of the annual Homecoming game. 

“I would say there was a lot of turnout. When I was there, I saw a lot of TJ kids,” junior Evan Huang, LaunchX fundraising coordinator, said. 

These partnerships strengthen the connections between the school community and the community surrounding Jefferson. 

“I feel like there’s definitely [a] mutual benefit between local businesses and TJ students,” Huang said. “On one hand, TJ students, they have a place to eat and socialize after football games. The businesses get extra revenue from all these TJ students. And it really helps boost the community.”

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