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Graduation is supposed to be an exciting time in a student’s life – full of going to parties, posing for pics in a cap and gown, and dreaming about life after school. Unfortunately, for sisters Meghan and Melissa Davis, it wasn’t always that way.

In the spring of 2009, Meghan, now 23, was getting ready for her college graduation. However, her family from Naples, Fl., suffered a tragedy when the girls’ father passed away. In all of the stress, Meghan never got around to ordering her graduation announcements to send out to friends and relatives. “She just forgot. There was too much going on,” says Melissa, 31.

Meghan and Melissa’s mom hit the ‘net, thinking there had to be a way to quickly send announcements online. To her surprise, no such service existed. “So we were actually all sitting around, our whole family, and we thought, ‘Well gosh, you should be able to do this for free, and create [announcements]
online,’” Meghan explains.

Spotting an opportunity

Seeing this need as a possible business opportunity, Meghan and Melissa banded together with their family to create the website goennounce.com. On the site, grads can create a Facebook-like profile with their photo, graduation date and personal achievements. Then, grads can send out personalized announcements online to friends and family for free. The recipients can visit the grad’s profile, send a congratulatory card and even give the graduate a gift – all from goennounce.com.

Goennounce.com is the girls’ way of making any graduate’s special time go a little bit smoother. Like Melissa says, “Whether your graduating high school or college, that’s the first 18 to 22 years of your life, and it’s a huge accomplishment. So we’re trying to make this [site] an easier way for kids to get that news out, and be recognized for it.” Graduating from elementary school or stepping up from middle to high school? Younger teens aren’t to be left out, either!

Working together

When they were growing up, the sisters could always count on their mom and dad to encourage them to pursue their goals. “Meghan and I were raised with our parents telling us that you should go out and follow your dreams, and you can do anything you want,” Melissa says.

When working on the site, the girls reached to their family once again. Their mom has been involved in working on goennounce.com from the beginning. From there, it’s truly become a family affair. “Our brother and our stepfather are also part of the company, and now our cousin is also part of the company. He developed the website for us from the ground up,” Meghan explains.

The website has been a positive experience for the family after going through a tough time. “Working together has made us all closer,” says Meghan.

Facing challenges

While Meghan and Melissa have certainly faced their share of struggles, they want girls to know that the bad times don’t last forever. “It’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Everyone has tough times, and the most important thing is to just take it day by day,” Melissa shares.

Working with their family has taught them the importance of sticking together through both ups and downs. Melissa says, “Whatever you may be going through, someone else has gone through it, and there’s people out there that want to help you and support you.”

Wanna get in on the action? Check out goennounce.com.

BY MARIE HANSEN ON 5/13/2011 9:00:00 AM

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