CTMS students at the Business Center

RANSON, W.Va. -- Charles Town Middle School students learned what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur during a visit from Carlise Campbell, owner of The Business Center Ship, Print, & More in Jefferson County. Campbell is the creator, owner, and operator of the Ranson Business Center where she hosted members of the CTMS Black Student Association on February 22 to share her experience as a Black female business owner. Exhausted by corporate hierarchy, Campbell set off to invest in herself. She gave students her insights about the art of life, family, and making money. The granddaughter of Black sharecroppers, Campbell grew up in the Chicago area. This unique experience gave her the background and knowledge to shape her business expertise. From the age of ten, she worked selling family-grown vegetables to neighbors, families, and friends.

As part of her message about finding balance in life, Campbell encouraged students to acquire foundational work skills along with a solid school education. She encouraged students to get a job while they were in school to gain knowledge and experience. She said that doing so would put them on a fast track toward success. 
Campbell also shared her lived experiences with students to encourage them to understand it is not easy to become your own success. She relayed to her audience that she often had to overcome perceptions of her gender and race in order to succeed. Overall, Campbell encouraged everyone to get involved.
"Try things you might like for a career… not just to make money. Don’t just chase a degree, MAKE a life," she said. “Design a future where people work for you, not just you working for them, like one of the earliest Black entrepreneurs, Frederick D. Patterson, who created his own Black car company, did over 100 years ago."
Campbell said she sees some parallels between Patterson's pioneering journey and her own. The visit was well received by the students. CTMS staff thanked Campbell for hosting and sharing with students.