Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Results Announced

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Cowley First, in association with the NetWork Kansas E-Community Partnership, hosted the 4th annual Cowley County Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) on March 20th at Cowley College.

Thirty-one students from Winfield High School (WHS) and Central-Burden High School (CHS) entered 22 businesses concepts including a written business plan, a 4-minute formal presentation and a trade show booth judged by local members of the business community.

The winning concepts were:

1st Prize: $500 – Ethan Powell, CHS, Powell Outdoor Properties

2nd Prize: $400 – Austin Henderson, Tony Brogan, Garrett Toon, CHS, ATG Wood Co.

3rd Prize: $300 – Morgan Cook, Bridgette Lawson, CHS, Picture Perfect Events

4th Prize: $200 – Emma Garrison, Lane Wilt, CHS, E&L Fishing

Trade Show Booth Winner: $100-Jill Smith, JJ Woods, Madison Hobart, CHS, Rugrats Daycare

“The Cowley County YEC is one of our most anticipated youth events that we coordinate and host.” said Kerri Falletti, Cowley First Director. “Not only do our local youth get to go through the planning process of a new business, but they also get to interact and receive advice from our local business representatives, which this event could not happen without them.”

Thirty volunteers from area businesses were able to assist in the three judging portions of the event. Mr. Jeff Bowman from South Central Kansas Regional Medical Center said “We really enjoyed the opportunity to meet these young entrepreneurs. It was really interesting to see their concepts and dreams and listen to them talk about their plans. The hospital appreciates the support of the community and we were glad we had the opportunity to get out into the community today and help out with this. Cowley County is fortunate to have young people with such talent and potential and to have so many involved adults working with them to support and develop that potential.”

Another volunteer, Mr. Doc Arnett also stated “I’d done this a couple of times before when I was working for Cowley College and it was really good to get back this year. I’m always impressed with the variety of ideas that the kids have. Some of them did a super job of developing business plans and created professional-looking presentation displays. The best part was hearing and seeing their enthusiasm!” Cowley First is most grateful to these individuals and to all of the volunteer judges for their time and commitment to the students.

In addition to prizes and recognition, the first-place finisher qualified to compete in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge on April 30th at Kansas State University in Manhattan also in partnership with the Kansas Masons organization. This event will include the top young entrepreneurs from schools across the state.

The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas high school students to entrepreneurship and give them a hands-on experience. This is the 4th time Cowley County has brought this competition to their community.

Winfield High School Youth Entrepreneur class participants:

Front row:  Anna  Phiouphongphan, BonLuke Phosy, Courtney Priest, Tagehn Stanley

Back Row: Aino Piilonen, Haley Bortz, Anthony Gardner, Jordan Chism

Central High School freshman business class participants:

Back Row: Haven Wunderlich, Garrett Toon, JJ Woods, Tony Brogan, Ethan Powell, Braden Black

Middle Row: Austin Henderson, Morgan Cook, Bridgette Lawson, Brendan Mackey, Sierra Davis, Alisha Miller

Front Row: Cheyenne McRorey, Jill Smith, Casey Gillis, Mallory Bergeron, Makala Veale, Madison Hobart, Emma Garrison, Chandler Brown, Lane Wilt