Grizz Biz is a youth led organization at North Middle School in Great Falls that is run by the students.  It is a business that has a CEO as well as mid-level managers in each department.  I spoke with 3 students that are involved in the company. Coco is the manager of the accounting department.

Randy: Coco, this is your first year in Grizz Biz. What is Grizz Biz?

Coco: Gris Biz is basically a student ran business that received a government grant that we get to spend on really anything we want and our teacher, Mr. Volkmar tells us if we want to do this, we go up to him and confront him about it and he tells us if it's a good idea or not. And basically, what we do is we sell things from five dollars to fifty dollars to people who want ceramics, wood pieces, engraved things, anything really cool.

Randy: So, what has been the funnest thing for you so far in your first year?

Coco: The best thing so far is probably communicating with people and getting to know their needs and telling them what we can do and what we can't do.

Randy: So, you like to do different event. Do you have any events coming up that you guys are planning on being at?

Coco: Yeah, we're planning on being at the youth garden craft show and basically, we're just going to set up and sell a bunch of cool items we have there.

Randy: Anything you want to add about it?

Coco: Grizz Biz is definitely something that everybody should try to do. I mean you have to try to get into it, it's kind of hard to get into but definitely try to get into it. It's a good experience because you get to run a business and be able to learn very valuable skills and what business takes, responsibility takes just everything.

Randy:  Carrina, you are a second year Grizz Biz individual that is a bookkeeper. Tell me about the responsibilities of a bookkeeper. What do you do?

Carrina: Well, first off, we keep control of people's hours so they can get paid individually. It works on how many hours they take, if you work 80 hours, or if you work 60, you'll get paid differently. We keep track of what people's jobs are like laser production, we give them jobs, so people get their products, and we make sure that the products are fully finished and good. So, people don't have complaints.

Randy: Do you know how many kids are in grace bins?

Carrina: Over the summer we had about 20. And then right now we have about 17 ish.

Randy: Is that a combination of both seventh graders and eighth graders or is it just eighth graders?

Carrina: Yes, eighth graders.

Randy: What's the funnest thing you've done, being a part of Grizz Biz in your two years?

Carrina: Definitely the fair because it's a lot of new opportunities that you get to learn and experience. I think that's the funnest for me. It's really fun to talk with new people and explain how we make it and they have a lot of questions and it's pretty cool.

Randy: Tristan, so you are in charge of the laser department, what is the laser department?

Tristan: We use a machine to engrave and put designs in the woods after production makes it and we just engrave and put whatever design that our customers want.

Randy: Is it just wood or can you laser into other things?

Tristan: we laser into cups we can laser into glass. And that's pretty much it.

Randy: Can you laser anything or is your limitation based on size?

Tristan: There's a limitation on size because it's a smaller laser, whatever fits in the laser is where we can cut.

Randy: how much how much training did you have to go through to learn how to use the laser?

Tristan: I mainly was trained on the job. They taught me how to do it when they were engraving and setting it up.

Grizz Biz is a great program run by a great educator, Mr. Pat Volkmar.  Mr. Volkmar gets an assist from his wife, Jennifer and fellow educator Mr. Roger Spring.  I know firsthand their impact as my son was in the program and learned a bunch from all three of them.  Thank you for what you do!  If you are interested in ordering from them, call North Middle School at (406) 268-6525 or email them at

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