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Garrett Gregory: Student, Designer, and Entrepreneur

By Holly Hutchings
Family and Consumer Sciences teacher,
Dixon Middle School, Provo School District
Mrs. Hutchings classroom

I have a boy named Garrett Gregory in my FACS Exploration sewing class. Garrett has been coming to my class regularly, but having a hard time being motivated to learn. He was hesitant about the subject and thought he was too cool to learn how to sew. I talked with Garrett about his ideas and about what he could make in the class. I told him to come up with something that would be interesting to him. He thought about it and asked, “Could I put a printed pocket on a T-shirt.” This is a popular T-shirt style boys are wearing. As Garrett pondered further, he came up with the idea to make these T-shirts and sell them as a business. He is so excited about this idea right now that he is spending every spare moment in my classroom working on his T-shirts. Needless to say, in the process he is gaining so many skills.

“When I started taking this class I didn’t really like the idea because I thought it was a girly class. I liked to sew, but I was sure that it was for girls. . . Then I was trying to think of an idea of what I could do for a project, and I found out that I could make some money by selling these cool shirts to my friends. Then, I got really excited about coming to class so I could get the shirts done,” says Garrett.

Garrett is so excited about his sewing project that he is calling it “his own business.” All of the students in class are talking about Garrett’s project and he has a little group of followers who are helping him and getting excited about the T-shirts he is making. They think it is the coolest thing they have ever seen. Seth Johnson is one of Garrett’s “followers” and is also his assistant. This could very easily be a starting point for Garrett in his lifetime pursuits.

Seth Johnson and Garrett Gregory
wearing the T-shirts Garrett designed.

This has been such an amazing turnaround for Garrett! The central focus of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is to PREPARE STUDENTS FOR CAREERS. Garrett’s experience in this FACS Exploration sewing class has turned into a real-life experience for him, and this is the central purpose of CTE! It has been so awesome to watch wheels turn in Garrett’s mind as he came up with this idea. When he found a way that he could incorporate the “American Dream” in his 8th grade class, he learned real-life skills. Watching Garrett’s motivation shift as he discovered a way to make this subject meaningful to him is exactly what CTE is about. These hands-on experiences are irreplaceable and of utmost importance to our students. This is how our students turn the confusing information that is being thrown at them into reality. Garrett’s example is just one of the many, many CTE success stories I have seen throughout my teaching career.

6 Responses to “Garrett Gregory: Student, Designer, and Entrepreneur”

  1. Emily Housley Says:

    This is so great to see a young man embrace the art of sewing. I love that he found something he enjoys and can make some money on as well. Such great things I hope his High School teacher will also allow him to find something that he is passionate about.

  2. Jody DeLand Says:

    Congratulations! You ignited his spark to learn, and he ran with it. This is what CTE is all about.

  3. Kent Thompson Says:

    One of the best concepts we teach in CTE is problem solving. It is also one of the reasons I teach. Problem solving unleashes creativity in a way no other activity can. By modeling the how and why of problem solving and then involving a student Ms. Hutchings has truly set an example for all of us to follow.

  4. Holly Hutchings Says:

    I just wanted to post a follow-up, and let you know… Garrett is taking this business very seriously. He comes to class and starts working immediately on his shirts. He does not waste any time, and he is really going to town on this business. It is AWESOME!

  5. Genet Orme Says:

    Way to go Holly! What a great success story. I’ll have to use that inspiring story in class some day. Career & College readiness at it’s best!
    Genet Ormer

  6. Suzy Cox Says:

    Way to go, Holly! You do such a great job at Dixon and you’re a great example of encouraging skills in students regardless of gender or perceptions. Congratulations!

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