The “Tobinator,” topped with pepperoni, pastrami, salami, provolone cheese, lettuce and a special “secret” sauce was all it took to give an ordinary lunch an exciting kick for Lake High School students.

The “Tobinator,” topped with pepperoni, pastrami, salami, provolone cheese, lettuce and a special “secret” sauce was all it took to give an ordinary lunch an exciting kick for Lake High School students.

“The sauce is going to sound so gross, but it was horseradish mixed with Thousand Island dressing” Lake senior Paige McGaffick said of the sandwich that was inspired by high school principal Kevin Tobin. “It’s a taste that you can never get anywhere else.”

Just one of many challenging tasks that were a part of the first Apprentice Project which is modeled after Donald Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice.” The profit maximization event tested students’ advertising skills by having them find innovative ways to sell average lunch items to their peers. In order to do this, McGaffick’s team worked with food service director Dave Lloyd to design the sandwich, which ended up raising school profits by 13 percent.

“We actually ran out of the ingredients for the sandwich,” McGaffick said, “(so) we started luring the students in by telling them that it’s the sauce that makes it so good. I told them ‘if you just put the sauce on any sandwich, it’ll be just as good.’ We didn’t want anyone to stop coming.’”

By using her creativity alongside her leadership skills, McGaffick finished the school year with a $2,000 scholarship from Lake Innovation Grants.

The profit maximization event was task three of five. All challenges encouraged students to step outside of their comfort zones and succeed.

“(The project) showed (students) how to create a buzz about an event, the logistics of planning for an event, negotiation skills, teamwork and, most of all, good and bad marketing strategies to successfully promote something” said senior marketing teacher Frank Pilato.

Also, by having students work with real businesses, Pilato was able to give his students real-world marketing experience in task two, which tested student’s people skills by having them embark on an advertising campaign for Nectar Smoothie Cafe in Green and Uniontown shops Moore Than Coffee in Uniontown and Sunrise Massage Therapy.

“The students were awesome to work with” said Joyce Grosko, co-owner of Nectar Smoothie Café. “Hopefully, (the students) learned that though crunching numbers and running demographics definitely has a place in running a business, fresh ideas, collaboration and hard work are just as important.”

Senior Sandy Parson says the second challenge was the hardest because the students were forced to step outside of the school setting and work with real businesses. Because students had to present their ideas to the businesses using various technology outlets, Parson says the most important goal to keep in mind was not clinging to your ideas and being professional about your demeanor.

Since the Apprentice Project was modeled from Donald Trump’s show, students were also at risk of getting booted and losing their opportunity of winning. Although Senior Amanda Goodenow won the profit maximization challenge alongside McGaffick, Goodenow was voted off by her teammates and Pilato. She took that as a learning experience.

“My confidence is up” said Goodenow. “It sucked getting booted, but I’m learning. I’ve made mistakes, but I know things now like how to be confident in myself and confident in my ideas.”

Although the original plan was to be award one $3,000 scholarship, by the end of the Apprentice Project, there were two clear winners: Best friends McGaffick and Parson. Parson won second place and took home a $1,000 scholarship. Both Parson and McGaffick will be attending the University of Akron and participating in the Emerging Leaders Program.