Lemonade Stand - Kai Cheatham
Name: Kai Cheatham
Business: Car detailing, babysitting & yard work
Like many high schoolers, Kai Cheatham leads a busy life. A junior at Cocoa Beach High School, Kai works to juggle academics, cross country, track, JROTC, Key Club and orchestra with time for family, friends and himself. When it came time for Kai to get his license, his parents drew a hard line: If he wanted the privilege of driving, he’d have to earn it.
“I’ve seen lots of teenagers who’ve been handed the keys to a car they didn’t have to pay for,” said Michelle Mulak, Kai’s mom. “They often don’t have the same sense of responsibility as kids who’ve had to work for it.”
Instilling this value of working toward big goals was something all four of the parents in Kai’s life could get behind. A highly competitive runner, Kai has hopes of earning a scholarship to a Division 1 university for cross country or track. This means putting in long hours of practice, as well as keeping his grades up and volunteering.
Kai’s summer job as a surf camp instructor helped him save enough money to purchase his first car — a Saab station wagon. He tossed around the idea of picking up a part-time job. However, carving out time for that would have meant sacrificing somewhere else.
Entrepreneurial brainstorming led to the idea of detailing cars and babysitting, a good fit for Kai’s lifelong interest in all things automotive, and natural propensity for working with kids.
How it works:
Kai’s mom and younger brother, Tyden, bought him detailing supplies and business cards for his 16th birthday to help get him going. “I put my business cards and a handwritten note in envelopes, and dropped them into all the mailboxes in my neighborhood to spread the word.”
Kai is able to schedule this work on evenings and weekends so as not to conflict with academic or athletic obligations. He fills in the gaps between the steady stream of detailing clients with babysitting (he’s been a CPR and first-aid certified babysitter since he was 11) and yard work jobs.
More about Kai
When he’s not in school, working or working toward his goals, Kai enjoys fishing, surfing, diving and spending time with his girlfriend, Kaylee.
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