MMA Cadet Sam Stevens has embraced the lessons taught at Missouri Military Academy (MMA) by embarking on his own entrepreneurial adventure this summer. At age 15, the high school sophomore has opened his own licensed and insured business, Mid Mo Window Cleaning. The business, based in Fulton, Missouri, is a testament to his unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship.
“Anyone is capable of being their own boss,” Stevens says.
The foundation for his entrepreneur interests began during his freshman year at MMA when he took Peggy Reynard’s Introduction to Business class. In this class, he was first introduced to the concept of entrepreneurship and the significance of identifying community needs. Under Reynard’s guidance, Stevens learned to think critically, research potential business ideas and formulate comprehensive business plans.
“Cadet Stevens is a bright, inquisitive young man taking information learned in class to practical use,” says Peggy Reynard, MMA business department chair, FBLA advisor and instructor. “I instill in my cadets the fact that having knowledge is power they can use in their future.”
A typical day in his life as an entrepreneur starts with checking his schedule, a skill he has honed during his time at MMA. Armed with a large calendar and a notebook to jot down contacts, he organizes his tasks for the day and gathers his supplies. From homes to businesses, Stevens manages to stay very busy. Some projects take a few hours, while larger assignments can extend over multiple days. He has some jobs that are one-time deals, while others repeat every two weeks.
“Being your own boss and having your own schedule is awesome,” Stevens says. “It feels good to do the work for my own brand. I want to own and start more businesses.”
While Stevens is the driving force behind his window washing business, he has a supportive network helping him, including his mom, Amanda Gowin, a Westminster College department chair and assistant professor for the health and exercise department, and his stepdad, Matt Gowin, a community bank president of the Bank of Missouri. His mom plays a pivotal role in his business by helping him stay organized and providing rides to jobs. The Callaway Chamber of Commerce has also been instrumental in guiding him through the process of setting up his business, handling paperwork and even assisting with creating a logo.
Despite his age, Stevens recognizes the value of hard work and discipline. These are not just lessons learned within the MMA walls, but principles that have manifested themselves into tangible success.
“The mission of MMA is to empower young men to unlock their potential through a program of academic excellence, character and social development and leadership training within a structured environment,” Reynard says. “Cadet Stevens is an example of our mission here. I am so proud of his accomplishments and look forward to having him in business classes and Future Business Leaders of America in the future."
Through this journey, Stevens has come to understand the importance of community and the impact of being his own boss. As he reflects on his experience, he emphasizes that anyone can pursue their entrepreneurial dreams with the right guidance and determination. His story resonates with the MMA message of hard work leading to success, and his ambition to own and start more businesses in the future showcases the Academy’s spirit of innovation and dreaming big.
“Hard work pays off,” Stevens says.