- REUTERS/Bobby Yip
- Ever increasing college tuition prices are forcing some students to find creative ways to fund their education.
- Siblings Emma and Clancy Meeks set up a firework stand out of their grandfather’s gas station to help pay for school.
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Fireworks and student loan debt – both American as can be. One Oklahoma brother and sister team are attempting to tie those two realities together by using the proceeds of their family fireworks stand to help fund their education.
The brother-sister duo consists of Oklahoma State sophomore Emma Meeks and her younger brother Clancy, a senior in high school. Located off State Highway 77 in the small town of Springer, Oklahoma, Ford Station Fireworks has been in business for six years. According to The Daily Ardmoreite, the siblings run the firework shop out of their grandfather’s old gas station.
In a Facebook post, Emma Meeks reflected on opening the stand in 2003.
“With dreams of attending Oklahoma State in mind, I knew that I needed to find something that would help ease the pain of tuition and it just so happened fireworks were the answer,” Meeks wrote.
Six years later, Meeks is double majoring in agricultural leadership and science disorders. Her brother, a senior at nearby Springer high school, joined up to help his sister and stow away some cash for his own education.
“At first (I started working here) to help her [Emma] out, but then we partnered into it,” Clancy Meeks told The Daily Ardmoreite. “Now we’re starting to split it.”
The brother-sister team funded their initial fireworks purchases by selling cattle. Now, the pair are bracing the sweltering Oklahoma summers, hoping to catch highway drivers and fireworks enthusiasts alike.
“It teaches you a lot about responsibilities, it definitely increases your work ethic,” Emma Meeks told The Daily Ardmoreite. “It takes a lot of dedication to be out here when it is 90 to 100 degrees.”