- May 23, 2016As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of TREP$, I am excited to launch this TREP$ blog. I hope that it proves to be a way for me to connect with parents and educators who share my belief that young people benefit from the experience of launching their own businesses in a very special way. […]
- March 20, 2016As a fifth grader, this was my first year participating in TREP$. I went to prior Marketplaces at my school and that gave me the idea to design my product. In the summer, I began making my good luck stones and clay dishes. I thought this was a good time to start because I had […]
- March 20, 2016When I saw a TREP$ Kick Off video during class, I was determined to make something and sell it at the TREP$ Marketplace! The only thing was... I didn't know what to do. After some thinking I got an idea of making soaps for kids. Basically the soaps have something inside of them like dinosaurs, […]
We empower children by providing a fun, project-based learning experience which creatively integrates entrepreneurship education with the opportunity to apply business, academic, and life skills.
We envision a world where all children are given the opportunity to acquire an entrepreneurial mindset in order to prepare them to succeed in our ever-changing economy.
Who We Are
TREPS ED, LLC provides schools, parent associations, and community organizations with TREP$™, a comprehensive project-based entrepreneurship curriculum designed for students in grades 4-8.
When 9-year-old Jack Romano of New Jersey wanted yet another Lego™ set, his mother encouraged him to earn the money to buy it himself. Jack accepted the challenge and prepared for his first business launch by booking a space at a local vendors’ market. As he began production of hand-stamped wrapping paper, he realized he could use some more hands! His friend and fellow 4th-grader Hans deWaal soon came on as Jack’s business partner. The young entrepreneurs quickly sold out of their product and happily profited about $35 each.
The boys’ mothers, Hayley Romano and Pamela deWaal, were proud of their boys’ financial success, but they noticed a whole host of other unexpected, valuable opportunities Jack and Hans had experienced through their brief stint as small business owners. The chance to learn basic business concepts. The chance to innovate. The chance to make decisions. The chance to work hard. The chance to see something through from start to finish. The chance to take a chance.
The experience inspired Hayley and Pamela to develop a program that offered students in their children’s school those same opportunities. With the support of the PTA, TREP$ was piloted as an after-school club at the Paradise Knoll School in Oak Ridge, New Jersey in 2006. TREP$ was soon named winner of the New Jersey PTA’s Champion for Children Award and a top 5 finalist of the National PTA’s Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award, propelling it into the spotlight. As other schools began to express interest in offering the program, Hayley and Pamela seized the market opportunity and became entrepreneurs themselves. TREPS ED, LLC was established in 2007 and began marketing the TREP$ curriculum.
Pamela deWaal, Partner
Pamela is a certified mathematics teacher who lives in New Jersey with her husband, son, and daughter. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Montclair State University, her desire to work with children motivated her to return to school to earn her elementary and mathematics teaching certificates from William Paterson University.
Hayley Romano, Partner
Hayley is a certified K-8 teacher who resides in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Bucknell University and completed her teaching certification at William Paterson University.