Jiji, 12, spends every day after school at his lemonade stand in Lehigh Acres. Rain or shine, Jizear Ruemmelle is outside selling.
“What motivates me is knowing that I’m doing something for my family and that I know it’s going to help,” Ruemmelle said.
At first, he just wanted to make enough money to pay for his football uniform but now he’s helping his sister.
“Our season is over and now I’m raising money for my sister,” he said. “She cheers for our team. So she can go to regionals.”
“He’s been out here in the sun, working his butt off trying to earn stuff for me,” said Ashaylee Stjulin, Jiji’s sister.
People in Lehigh Acres are noticing his hard work as well. Christopher Townsend posted a video on Facebook of the stand. ”
“You know especially with everything that’s going on and all the negativity and stuff I just wanted to share something positive,” said Townsend.
“He said can I do a video about you? I said yeah, he made a video and I guess,” Jiji said. “He put me on Facebook.”
Now he knows the power of social media. Jiji recently acquired a sponsor, after the video went viral. The man behind the biggest food tasting event in Lehigh invited him to participate.
“The first thing I felt was he deserves a larger platform and more recognition. I was definitely moved by his entrepreneurship at such a young age because that’s going to turn into something great,” said George Torres, Flava of Lehigh.
Jiji’s customers seem to agree. “I’ve always thought wow look at that, that’s a young entrepreneur doing things the right way and trying to build something out of his life,” said Steve Conde who stops at the lemonade stand.
Thanks to that Facebook Post, Jiji is more than halfway to his goal of helping his sister attend her cheer competition.
He told WINK News reporter Andrea Guererro that he’s grateful for everyone’s support.