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CHICAGO (CBS) – Christmas trees, snowmen, and candy canes are all some of the new wrapping paper designs from a group of West Side college kids. They put their skills to good use by creating and selling their own wrapping paper.

It all started with a kid who had a bad day.

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“Right now I think we’re at $ 311,” Reggie Reed said.

With a handful of money he helped earn, he feels pretty good.

“We’ve all done it,” he said. “Not one person, but we all did it as a family.”

It’s a big turnaround from just over a year ago when Reggie, like everyone from time to time, was feeling pretty disappointed.

“Miss Steffanie was like, ‘Hey Reggie, what do you want to be when you grow up?’” He said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ She said to me: ‘You should be an entrepreneur.’ And then I was like, ‘No one wants to buy my stuff from me.’ And then she said to me, ‘We’re going to start.’ “

Those in charge of the Reborn Ministries after-school program in West Garfield Park understood that telling a child that he is worthy of something doesn’t always mean he will believe it. Sometimes they need to see it for themselves. So the adults came up with a plan: put the kids to work by designing and creating holiday wrapping paper that they could sell themselves to raise money for school trips. Each child got to work drawing a holiday picture.

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“I took these drawings and processed them and used my iPad to draw on the pictures. I designed them in a template so that that way it was paper, ”said Hannah, a volunteer with Reborn Ministries and City of Refuge.

The result is something really special.

“I was shocked because I didn’t think we could do it at the start. Now that I finally saw it, I was happy, ”said one student.

They are not only happy but also proud to see their designs come to life on the page.

“I made this star here and the present. Light blue and dark blue, ”said Kiyah Farr.

“This is my drawing and my drawing is good,” said another student.

The design is so good that it caught the eye of the pen company, Uni-ball, which now sells the paper online, taking the booming small business nationwide and giving these young entrepreneurs a good reasons to feel pretty good.

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“I feel like I’m going to have a blessing when I grow up and be something,” Reggie said.


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