NEW RICHMOND, Wis. - Breanna Simon started the year like a lot of teens, concerned about her prospects for summer employment.
"They want to like schedule you in advance and I have hockey," says the incoming student athlete at Hamline University.
Needing both money for college and time with the ice, Breanna found a way to have both: "Bee's ice cream," smiles the 19-year-old owner of her very own ice cream truck.
The idea is not original. She borrowed the notion from a hockey friend who started his own truck in Woodbury.
Breanna's quest led her to an old FedEx delivery truck for sale on Craigslist.
"I did a bunch of math and I asked my dad and he thought I was nuts," says Breanna as she loads her freezer with ice cream treats while parked in the driveway of her family's rural New Richmond home.
"This is the first big thing I've ever owned," she says proudly. Unable to find a job to fit her schedule, Breanna created her own.
In two months Breanna has earned back the $1700 she paid for the truck plus a couple thousand more to cover permitting, retrofitting and a sparkling new coat of yellow paint. Her father put a serving window in the side of her truck and helped lay a new floor.
"She really doesn't come to us and ask for permission," says Joe Simon, noting his daughter's independent streak. "She's truly a freedom girl," adds Judy Simon, Breanna's mother.
Cruising New Richmond's neighborhoods at 5 miles an hour, Breanna has won both customers and fans.
"If more kids in America would go on out there and do what she's doing, instead of getting a free handout from mom and dad - I'm proud of her like she's my own daughter really," says Duane Fitch, who has become one of Breanna's regulars.
As she skated down the path to her college degree, Breanna Simon stumbled - on the American dream.
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