High school class fostering entrepreneurs in Northern Nevada
CARSON CITY, Nev. — In his sophomore year at Carson High School, Carlos Enrique Nuñez decided it was time to look ahead.
“I started to realize I was getting older, I was getting to an age when I better figure life out or it was going to be hard,” said Nuñez. “I wasn’t the best student and I needed something to grab onto.”
He found it in the Entrepreneur Mindset Program, a 10-week class taught at CHS by entrepreneurial and life skills teacher Jeff Glass, who’s also founder and chief visionary officer at The Generation Company in Carson City.
“I liked the idea of becoming an entrepreneur. Guys who own their own business are rich,” Nuñez said.
Now, two years after graduating high school, Nuñez is starting his third business, a digital marketing company called Alpha Media Group, after working with Glass to launch one junk removal business and going off on his own to create another.
“He became my competitor,” said Glass, which is exactly what he wanted to see. “I was proud of him.”
Glass teaches what he calls the seven core values of entrepreneurship: generosity, courage, teamwork, leadership, stewardship, innovation, and honor.
He teaches the course at Carson High and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, in addition to groups of youth in juvenile detention and probation in Carson City, Douglas County and other locations.
“One of my favorite parts is Jeff teaches them life skills about getting interviewed and getting hired,” said Ali Banister, chief of Carson City’s Juvenile Services.
And it doesn’t end with a graduation certificate.
“The greater stuff is happening outside the classroom,” said Glass.
Two years ago, Glass decided to take his program a step further and put his lessons into action based on an idea from his wife, Regina.
“So we started ReHaul and Carlos helped launch it when he was a senior,” in March 2017, said Glass.
Nuñez worked for ReHaul for a year.
“I was working as a manager, but my spirit was to start my own business,” he said.
So Nuñez left to launch Junk Bros USA, which employs three to four people and does junk removal for up to 10 clients a day in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Gardnerville and Minden.
Eventually, ReHaul was bought by another employee and former entrepreneur program student, Paul Klemm, who works with customers from Incline Village to Smith Valley.
Now, Nuñez and Glass, and a third partner, Steve Main, are starting up another business: Alpha Media Group, a digital marketing firm which is already working with several customers, including a bed and breakfast and a law firm.
“We come in and take care of their entire digital marketing, anything that has to do with online presence,” said Nuñez. “More customers equals more money. We drive traffic to your social media and web site to drive traffic to your business.”
Nuñez is also passing along what he’s learned. He is now mentoring a student at the Boys & Girls Clubs who is launching a landscaping business and, along with Klemm, teaching the Entrepreneurial Mindset Program to students in Douglas County juvenile detention.
Nuñez said the class taught him more than entrepreneurial know-how.
“You learn life skills like self value, that you have a personal brand,” he said. “At school I tried a little harder. Why? Because I had a personal brand.”
That’s success, according to Glass.
“The greatest thing you can teach anyone is how they bring value to the world,” he said.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.