Drew Herring is a student at Southeast Bulloch High School. He loves his church, he loves to cook, and he loves his family.
Oh yeah…and he’s got an awesome jump start at becoming the entrepreneur he’s been dreaming about being.
Herring is the son of April and George Herring, and has a younger brother and sister. He says he’s always loved to cook, and learned from his mom. He started a food blog last year, called Trendy Eats, where he posted recipes. He thought that might be his future, but he’s since realized that he will follow a different path.
Herring is involved with Work-Based Learning at SEB, and works with program coordinator Renee Rogers. When he approached her with the idea of using setting up a blog as the focus of his Work-Based Learning, he says she was supportive.
“I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I wanted that type of job,” he said. The food blog was started in August of last year. In addition to the recipes, Herring said he also posted some Bible study posts, and he discovered he enjoyed doing that more than the cooking.
“I felt like God was leading me in a different direction, and I’ve just felt called completely to ministry,” he said.
Herring changed his blog to believechristianministries.com, which features Bible studies, videos and a verse of the day, which people can sign up to receive by subscribing. He also posts videos on the site’s YouTube channel.
“I want it to be like an outreach to people,” he said.
Although he recently invited guest posts on the site, he is currently the only one posting.
Herring gave careful consideration to how the blog would look and function. He said it was a long journey to the look it has now, and that it constantly changes. He often looks to other sites to compare and look for ideas.
“I want it to look very professional, so I’ve tried to use fonts and graphics to make it look very professional,” he said.
The site doesn’t currently bring in any income for Herring, but he is working on ways to change that, and plans to continue with the site after college. He hopes to develop it further, and add more video content.
Herring is responsible each week for putting in 15 hours on the job for his Work-Based Learning class, and he says he loves the flexibility that he has. He can do the work during the week, or on the weekend if he chooses. He meets with Rogers about once a month, and she often provides him with ideas for his site, as she has experience with design and business. He also gets assignments.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to do this and not have to go to a job site,” he said. “I have the option to work when I want or need to.”
“During our meetings, we critique what he has done so far and we make goals for him to work on. We have shared progress and our folder of his documentation of his placement with the WBL program specialist, and for the upcoming year they have decided to allow schools to pilot entrepreneurial ventures for schools that apply for the program,” Rogers said. “I like to think that Drew’s venture has allowed them to see what is possible and that it is worth allowing students to participate in this type of WBL placement.”
As for the content on his website, Herring says he reads his Bible a lot and participates in church events and activities, and he is often inspired with ideas about what he can share on the website.
In future, Herring says he plans to dual enroll next year at Georgia Southern University, and he hopes to attend Truett-McConnell University in Cleveland, Georgia. He is planning to major in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Student Ministries.
Herring says he plans to pursue that particular degree because he sees the value in being able to connect with students.
“They are the future of the church, and it’s very important to educate them,” he said.
The support for the site amongst Herring’s family and friends has been tremendous, he said. His church, Ellabell United Methodist, has also been supportive.
Herring says he’s learned a lot from his experience creating and maintaining the website, including learning to be patient.
“I want to do things for quality and not for quantity,” he said. “I focus on quality versus quantity, and having a passion for what I put out.”
He’s planning to not only upgrade the content, but he also wants to reach beyond the web, and develop more community outreach, adding a missions aspect to the site’s ministry. He plans to take the site nationwide, and even worldwide, eventually.
Herring’s parents have been super supportive of his work on the site, and are excited about what he’ll do in the future. His mother, April, says he’s just a great kid and a great student.
“Ever since he was a baby, he knew what he wanted and he went after it,” she said. “This has just continued as he’s gotten older. He’s always been ambitious.”
April says her son has wanted to start his own business since he was in middle school, and says that this experience, along with being involved with Work-Based Learning, has been good for him.
“I’ve just seen him grow a lot, and mature a lot, in the things that he wants to do. But he’s always been very driven,” she said.
Work-Based Learning, April says, has helped her son with time management, and has helped him to become more independent and responsible.
April says she is truly proud of the website he’s created, and she is proud of his content, and how he spends time researching and studying to prepare to create the content.
She says that her other two children look up to their brother, and her younger son is interested in the site and what his big brother is doing.
“Drew is rubbing off on him,” she said, laughing.
April is excited for her son’s future, and says she and her husband are encouraging him to follow his dreams. She adds that neither she nor her husband is very tech savvy, and that Drew gets it from her mom.
“She’s always been great with that. He definitely gets it from her,” she said.
As for his involvement in Work-Based Learning, April says she has felt that it has been a great opportunity for him.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids. To get their feet wet, and to see what it feels like to be out in the world, but still have that umbrella of high school where you still have some supervision and adult interaction, somebody to help guide you through the process,” she said. “I think it’s a great resource and opportunity that they have available to them. It really helps them to shape up their time management, and learn what it’s going to be like after high school.”
For other kids who might be interested in Work-Based Learning, Herring says he’d recommend it.
“Entrepreneurship is very important to me, and I think that being an entrepreneur, it can be really good for a person’s future. I feel like you get to develop what you believe in more, and you get to show that in your work. You get to put out your own content or choose your own area to focus on. I feel like you can really show your passions and beliefs through that,” he said. “I give all glory to the Lord for all my work and I am very thankful for having this opportunity.”