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Staples High Junior Honored For His 'Commercial Activism'

Staples High junior Ben Goldstein created Choice Water, whose sales will benefit area nonprofits.
Staples High junior Ben Goldstein created Choice Water, whose sales will benefit area nonprofits. Photo Credit: Mark Mathias

WESTPORT, Conn. — Sunrise Rotary in Westport is honoring Staples High junior Ben Goldstein as its Student of the Month for his work in the past year in creating a unique product — Choice Water.

Goldstein, who was honored April 10, came up with the idea for Choice Water, a branded bottled water that will provide a portion of the profit from every bottle to an area nonprofit.

He describes himself as “very entrepreneurial.” His underlying notion that “small donations can make a big difference,” and his project as “commercial activism.”

For his nonprofit beneficiaries, Goldstein is partnering with Fairfield/Westchester County Autism Speaks (for their walks) and Child Advocates of Southwest Connecticut, and is selecting two additional relationships. He chose Autism Speaks because he has a 25-year-old autistic brother. Since organizing a backyard circus when he was in fifth grade, he has been raising money for that organization.

His brother was diagnosed when the younger Goldstein was 2 years old. The diagnosis, he said, has “influenced how my family and I see the world and how we go about helping others.”

Each bottle will carry the label of one of the nonprofits, enabling consumers to choose their preferred charity.

Choice Water “should be in the stores within 60 days,” he said. It will be distributed in Westport at Oscar’s, Gold’s and Village Bagels—with additional outlets to follow.

Logo and label design are an important part of the product’s branding. The tech-savvy Goldstein selected 99designs.com , a web-based firm whose offices in San Francisco, Melbourne, Berlin and Rio de Janeiro offer a global community of over 950,000 designers to complete assignments.

Goldstein pitched his concept to interested designers, and initiated a competition for his business. Within seven days “contestants from all around the world pitched their ideas.”

He chose a logo created by an Indonesia-based designer and labels by an artist in Hungary.

“All of that just to put a bottle on the shelf in Westport, Connecticut," he said.

Though Goldstein’s product is not yet in the market, he called his achievement “very rewarding.”

Goldstein and his parents are looking at colleges —business schools. Surprised?

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