Meet the Neighbors: Students, Staff Support Local Businesses

Local+businesses%2C+like+Twisty+Donuts%2C+Soulmans+Bar-B-Que+and+Mouser+Electronics+employ+students+and+benefit+from+the+school+in+their+daily+operations.

Photo by Caroline Schlieker

Local businesses, like Twisty Donuts, Soulman’s Bar-B-Que and Mouser Electronics employ students and benefit from the school in their daily operations.

Loud construction vehicles drive by filled with red bricks and cement packs. Different construction workers rush around the work site to complete their final tasks. As the sun sets, the newest high school stands and it casts an enormous shadow over the desolate work site.

Some businesses relocate near schools to attract business from students. Other times, schools will be built near certain businesses and both parties may impact one another. Mansfield Legacy High School runs an internship program with Mouser Electronics where students earn a chance at a full-time job for the company. Desktop Service Director for Mouser Electronics Tony Smith helps oversee the internship program.

“We have had a few great students become outstanding employees,” Mr. Smith said. “I feel like the internship program gives students a way to truly express themselves.”

Besides the internship program, Mouser Electronics participated in sponsorships and some prize giveaways to make a name for themselves and help improve the school. The company provides to people of all ages through its products and services.

“We want to be able to help everyone,” Mr. Smith said. “That’s why we offer the best products and opportunities to pretty much any age.” 

The school has impacted us quite a bit. All of our notoriety comes from the school, I don’t know what we would do without it.”

— Mr. John Pressley

Mansfield Fine Jewelry established its store before the school in 1983. Master Bench Jeweler and Appraiser John Pressley helped establish the business on his property and continues to help run it with his mom and son. The three-generation-owned business relies on parents who pick up their kids from school to see company advertisements and gain interest. 

“The school has impacted us quite a bit,” Mr. Pressley said. “All of our notoriety comes from the school, I don’t know what we would do without it.”

Carniceria Carmelita, also known as the Mexican Meat Market, takes advantage of parents who drive by their business hoping they will become customers. The business started as a gas station off Broad Street and later transitioned into a Hispanic grocery store in response to customer support. Anna Shaffer manages the store and runs a Facebook page to provide updates on the business.

“We try to make our products cheap and affordable,” Ms. Shaffer said. “People need to experience or continue to express Hispanic culture.”

Other businesses near Legacy may not offer job opportunities but may provide students and staff with different food options. Twisty Donuts opened in 2016, and about half of its business comes from students and staff. The business chose an office space they could afford while still in an area the school could reach them. General Manager Sokheng Phim sells hundreds of donuts every day to students.

“We love to serve students,” Mr. Phim said. “It makes me happy when they order donuts and walk away with satisfied looks on their faces.”

Other restaurants, like Soulman’s Bar-B-Que offer discounts to all Mansfield ISD students and staff, in addition to regularly selling food to the school. Soulman’s strives to become the face of the fast food BBQ industry, and to achieve their goal, the company participates in sponsorships for the Mansfield Legacy High School Football Team. General Manager Devin Page also hires students from the school. 

“The staff and students have done much for us,” Mr. Page said. “We want to continue to sponsor the school as thanks to the contribution to our restaurant.” 

The school will continue to participate with local businesses and companies, like Mouser Electronics, through business attractions and career programs.

“It’s important for Mousers Electronics to continue working with the school,” Mr. Smith said. “Future careers are built on this relationship.”