2022 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge

2022 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
Posted on 03/10/2022

Students from Central and South High competed Tuesday, March 8, at the annual Saline County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC). The YEC is a statewide competition for young entrepreneurs who create and present their mock businesses. The Salina Area Chamber of Commerce had volunteer judges from the Salina Business Community. Teachers Kelly Jones (CHS), Orlando Carmona (SHS), and Marysa McCartney (CHS) led their students in generating their best ideas to develop mock businesses. Working individually or with business partners, students built a budget, created a business plan and presentation. The 23 teams were judged in three categories: Executive Summary, Formal Presentation and Tradeshow.

yec at stac

This year’s 1st place winner was Jesus Mariscal-Valencia and his business Strings and Dings from South High (Orlando). Jesus incorporated his love for music with his plan for an instrument repair business. He plans to start primarily with guitar repair and maintenance while also offering quality guitar supplies.

This year’s 2nd place winner was Braeden Foley, a junior at Central High (Marysa) and his business Foley Disc Dyes. Braeden’s passion for disc golf inspired his business for custom dyed discs. Braeden’s business is unique in that it is not just a mock business, his custom dyed discs are currently for sale. He is also the founder of the disc golf club at South High.

This year’s 3rd place winner was Alisha Will, a junior at Central High (Marysa) with her business Eco-Journals. Her business centers around her product, refillable leather bound journals that utilize recycled paper made from seeds. With different options for seed papers and leathers, Alisha makes it easy for consumers to personalize a journal and feel good about its impact on the environment.

The People’s Choice award was won by Freddy Ruffin, a senior at Central High (Kelly) with his business Better Taste Eats. Freddy’s business seeks to help teenagers and adults learn how to cook for themselves through an app.

This opportunity provides students the chance to become entrepreneurs and engage with a potential career pathway. When we visited a practice trade show hosted by Marysa, we saw only the beginning of what these students’ presentations would become. It was amazing to see how far their public speaking skills, presentations and business plans came.