Youth Exude an Entrepreneurial Spirit at Y.E.S. Event

The Ord High School commons area radiated with entrepreneurial spirit as eight youth featured their innovative businesses at the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase on Friday, January 30th during the Ord Wrestling Invite.

The Y.E.S. Event began with an inspiring Lunch and Learn conducted by Gregg Christensen where youth discussed effective entrepreneurship practices and explored the unique aspects of their businesses and the assets of their hometowns. Next youth held a lively discussion with JJ Johnny James on Party Line Part 2 to promote individual businesses and the Y.E.S. event marketplace. After the radio program, students rushed to the OHS commons area to set up their business booths and prepare for the competition session of the day.Lineup

After the youth entrepreneurs were set up and ready for the marketplace, they were interviewed by a panel of judges including Kayla Hinrichs, UNL Extension Educator, Gregg Christensen, Entrepreneurship and Career Education Specialist, Nebraska Department of Education and Dr. Andrew Zimbroff, UNL Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist. The three judges evaluated the youth entrepreneurs on booth appearance, quick pitch, business concept, marketing tools, and customer service skills.  All youth participants received comments from judges to use as a learning tool for enhancing their entrepreneurial skills and improving their businesses.

At the beginning of the wrestling meet, the business savvy youth were introduced to the crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium.  The youth entrepreneur roster included the following:  Amanda Baker, owner of Amanda’s Attic presented her custom designed aprons and hand-crocheted ear muffs, bracelets, scarves and more to the chef and craft enthusiasts alike; Emma Cline, owner of Emma’s Wrap Arounds featured bling and denim with her handcrafted wrap around bracelets; Callie Alexander owner of Callie’s Coconut Cream Shoppe enticed customers with the healing properties of coconut oil in her scented body creams; Samantha O’Neal, owner of Samantha’s BubbleMi appealed to the senses with her aromatic handmade soaps, lotions and bubble bath; Shelby Kittle inspired the outdoorsman with her hand painted fishing lures, wildlife motif mailboxes and artwork; and T.J. Kittle owner of T.J.’s Custom Decals stimulated school spirit and recreational passion with his special designed decals; Grace Koelling, owner of Grace’s Sweet Scrubs tantalized the senses with all-natural sugar body scrubs; and Kendyl Koehlmoos, owner of Kendyl’s Kreations sported plush and stylish designer scarves.

Sales PitchWith the introductions completed the market place opened for business! The youth entrepreneurs sold their products to enthusiastic customers for three hours. This was a great opportunity for the youth to make connections with new customers and business leaders and to promote their special niche business products.

The entrepreneurs appeared once more before a large crowd in the Ord High School gymnasium for the awards ceremony featuring the top two novice and professional businesses.  All of the youth were praised as innovative leaders in our school system and community and awarded a participation certificate from the Ord FBLA Chapter. The top two novice business awards were presented to Grace’s Sweet Scrubs, 1st Place with a $100 grant award and Emma’s Wrap Arounds, 2nd Place with a $75 grant award.  The top two professional business awards were presented to Shelby’s Custom Airbrushing, 1st Place with a $150 grant award and Amanda’s Attic, 2nd Place with a $100 grant award.  All winners also received a free one year Ord Area Chamber membership with full benefits including privileges. The purpose of the grant awards and Chamber memberships are to help youth hone their entrepreneurial skills and expand their business ventures.

“We believe the Y.E.S. Event is a valuable avenue for providing sustainable programming that will build our human capacity and business economy for the future of Valley County. The Y.E.S. Event offers real world business experience for youth that have a passion for entrepreneurship. We want our youth to know there are abundant opportunities to live and work in their hometowns,” commented Kristina Foth, Dahn Hagge and Jennifer Remmereid, co-coordinators of the event.

The Youth Entrepreneur Showcase was sponsored through a partnership among the Valley County Community Foundation Fund, Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development the and the Ord FBLA Chapter. Funding for the Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase was provided through a grant from the Valley County Community Foundation Fund-Geweke Youth Endowment.

Project partners would like to extend a special thank you to the FBLA youth coordinators Dalton Davis and Britan Blair, Ord High School administration and staff, KNLV Radio and guest presenters and judges for supporting this event and our youth for the greater good of Valley County.

Youth Entrepreneurs and OHS FBLA Members

Youth Entrepreneurs and OHS FBLA Members

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