Cooper students receive grant from Liberty Diversified International

Cooper students receive grant from Liberty Diversified International
Posted on 01/31/2017
Deca Students with LDI Staff

Cooper students receive grant from Liberty Diversified International in support of Business Education and the DECA club

            Eleven Cooper High School students put their business knowledge and marketing savvy to the test during a recent visit to Liberty Diversified International (LDI) in New Hope, Minn.

Cooper High School’s Business Club and DECA students in Brianna Hershey’s classes presented a proposal to LDI leaders on January 26, 2017, to help fund and support DECA competitions and field trips. Their visit was part of a long-standing relationship between Cooper High School and LDI. Periodically students visit the company and learn more about career opportunities in areas ranging from manufacturing to marketing.

“LDI has some amazing people working there, and they really helped me remember what business is really about, which is innovation and communication,” said Skylar Smiley, a senior DECA student at Cooper.

LDI leaders spent over an hour working with the students discussing marketing ideas and walking through the steps of a product life cycle for some of the company’s own products. They kept the meeting interactive and fun for all the students.

Jael Kerandi, the President of Cooper’s DECA chapter said, “Understanding a product is one thing, learning how a product works is another, but being immersed into a business concept in its actual product life cycle and seeing it start to breathe life... that’s what I call magic."

At the conclusion of the meeting, the students received a $4,000 grant from the company. According to Community Relations Specialist Camille Pearson Walz, the grant is an investment in the students and the community.

“It’s a privilege for us to meet with such a talented group of young people,” she said. “By supporting their educational aspirations, we are helping to shape the next generation of business leaders.”

Hershey’s classes will use the money to go on field trips to local businesses, buy materials for competitions, and fund projects in the classroom to help students learn more about the business world. Hershey and they whole group are extremely grateful for this donation.

“We are so grateful that there are company’s out there willing to support business education,” Hershey said.

Students also got to take home a Mogo Chair (created by Focal Upright, a company acquired by LDI’s Safco Products this past September.) With its innovative design, the Mogo Chair helps keep a good posture and allows the body to perch. It helps to reduce the fatigue of standing while being more active and engaging than sitting.

Cooper students who presented and attended the meeting were Jael Kerandi, Elena Gentry, Patricia Bartos, Skylar Smiley, Jack Rybarcyzk, David Necas, David Lindgren, Gideon Chweya, Lucas Messer, Jenny Gray, and Keon Gates.


About LDI

Liberty Diversified International is a privately-held family of businesses with more than 1,600 employees operating in the following industries: Paper and packaging; furnishings and organization products for the office; and building and architectural products. With roots in the corrugated fiberboard business, the company was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in New Hope, MN. To learn more, visit

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