Today at work I went to visit a group of high schoolers and college students who make granola bars and sell them to the community. This small business was originally started by a group of middle schoolers who decided to provide students with another option besides the snacks in the vending machines. The granola bars contain six ingredients and they are healthy and delicious.
When we came into the kitchen, the students were in heated debate. We asked them what was going on. "Taste one of these granola bars," they said. We tasted them. Frankly, I thought they were amazing. "You haven't had one before, have you?" they asked. When I said no, they told me that the bars seemed off today. My boss said the texture was a bit different, but the taste was fine, and since they had to deliver the bars by the end of the day and were on a time crunch, they would still be acceptable to sell.
"They're not right," insisted one high school student. He suggested making another batch rather than sacrificing the quality when sending the bars out to market. That moment struck me for so many reasons. It was one of those rare moments when everyone involved was on an equal playing field, despite age or position. Teenagers were advocating to put in more work than they had to for the sake of a cause they believed in. Even though my position at work would suggest so, I was in no way shape or form an expert in this conversation. This, I thought, was youth empowerment at its finest.
Even though for the sake of time the students did have to package and sell the less than perfect granola bars, they insisted on warning the vendors that the bars were a bit different today. I hope that they always hold themselves to such high standards throughout their lives.