Edmond-owned Madeline’s Floral Shop hired a Metro Technology Centers horticulture student for the mad rush during Mother’s Day. Barbara Bilke, owner of Madeline’s, needed additional help during the second biggest holiday of the year, and made a phone call to Jona Squires, horticulture teacher.
“It was a great fit for our senior student Jacqueline Sanchez. She is very talented and a hard worker who was seeking employment,” Squires said.
“My mother, Madeline Graham, started the business in 1950. My daughters and I have continued to own and operate the business at the same location for more than 64 years. It’s a family business that promotes doing what you love and giving your best,” Bilke said.
The partnership between Madeline’s and Metro Technology Centers started last fall when teachers met with local industry partners to discuss getting high school students certified and involved in the floral business. The partnership continues to be a work in progress as students are connected to job opportunities.
“It was a great opportunity for me to work with customers, help process thousands of flowers and see how crazy a floral shop can be during Mother’s Day,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez has been able to obtain six hours of college credit from OSU/OKC during her senior year at MCA, and has secured a job with training to help her to continue to reach her goals.
“I didn’t have any idea I would obtain college credit and get a job while being a student. My senior year has helped me to see how I can continue to reach goals and make plans for my future. I feel very blessed to have had great teachers and mentors to help me,” she said.
Madeline’s Floral Shop is one of 60,000 small businesses that make up the floral industry. This industry is the third-largest U.S. agricultural crop that includes floral shops, growers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors and importers.
Billie Smith is a community relations specialist with Metro Technology Centers.