2016 Y.E.S. for Arkansas Winners Announced

Carlisle, Little Rock, Omaha Schools Win 2016 Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Repurposing vinyl records into wall clocks, converting ribbons into wraparound book marks designed not to rip or fall out of books, making body scrubs with Certified Pure Therapeutic GradeTM essential oils, and creating a “modish, cushy, stress-relieving bracelet” are the business products that were the top winners among the Top 25 finalist teams that competed in the 11th annual Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas Expo Day event Friday, February 5, 2016, at Park Plaza Mall in Little Rock.

Expo Day was the culmination of Arkansas Capital’s Y.E.S. for Arkansas annual business plan competition for all fifth- through eighth-grade students in Arkansas. This year, 224 business plans were submitted from 29 schools in 17 counties, engaging 662 students. More than 70 judges volunteered to read and score the plans in the preliminary round. In December, 25 teams of 5th -8th grade students were chosen as finalists, earning the invitation to showcase their products and ideas to a team of judges at Expo Day.

Awards were presented to the winners and second- through fourth-place winners in four categories during a ceremony Friday afternoon at Park Plaza. They are:

Best Business Plan

First Place: Stresslets; Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock (Teacher: Gwendolynn Combs. Team members: Allison Farrar and Courtney Ann Satterfield)

Second Place: Sugar Sweets Sugar Scrubs; Omaha Public Schools, Omaha (Teacher: Pam Hopkins. Team members: Rachel Reynolds, Alli Swatsenbarg, and Shelby Whitehurst)

Third Place: Hook-A-Balm; Washington Middle School, El Dorado (Teacher: Katie King. Team members: Brooke McCoy, Jessalyn Perez, McKenzie Pate, and Tyrese Key)

Fourth Place: Robot Café; Prairie Grove Middle School, Prairie Grove (Teacher: Dustin Seaton. Team members: Carter McKenzie, Sarah Myane, Corey Cook, and Alexandria Hendricks)

Most Innovative Product

First Place: The Repurposed Project; Pulaski Heights Middle School, Little Rock (Teacher: Hollie Wolfe. Team members: Hannah Denery, Skylar Blount, Jasmyn Staggers, Canaan Davis, and Ruby Slarks)

Second Place: Robot Café; Prairie Grove Middle School, Prairie Grove (Teacher: Dustin Seaton. Team members: Carter McKenzie, Sarah Myane, Corey Cook, and Alexandria Hendricks)

Third Place: The Quizzicals; Prairie Grove Middle School, Prairie Grove (Teacher: Dustin Seaton. Team members: Gabriel Foster, Brinden Bristow, Carter Scates, and Nick Shrum)

Fourth Place: H.A.M.M.A. Headbandz; Southwest Middle School, Searcy (Teacher: Karm Prock. Team members: Hagan Bryant, Alyssa Day, Mary Frances Oxner, Mia Molechat, and Ava Simpson)

Best Marketing Piece

First Place: Ribbon-Wrapz; Carlisle Elementary School, Carlisle (Teacher: Jennifer Park. Team member: Corbin Brown)

Second Place: Sugar Sweets Sugar Scrubs; Omaha Public Schools, Omaha (Teacher: Pam Hopkins. Team members: Rachel Reynolds, Alli Swatsenbarg, and Shelby Whitehurst)

Third Place: Paperings; Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock (Teacher: Gwendolynn Combs. Team member: Surabhee Eswaran)

Fourth Place: H.A.M.M.A. Headbandz; Southwest Middle School, Searcy (Teacher: Karm Prock. Team members: Hagan Bryant, Alyssa Day, Mary Frances Oxner, Mia Molechat, and Ava Simpson)

Best Retail Booth Display

First Place: Sugar Sweets Sugar Scrubs; Omaha Public Schools, Omaha (Teacher: Pam Hopkins. Team members: Rachel Reynolds, Alli Swatsenbarg, and Shelby Whitehurst)

Second Place: H.A.M.M.A. Headbandz; Southwest Middle School, Searcy (Teacher: Karm Prock. Team members: Hagan Bryant, Alyssa Day, Mary Frances Oxner, Mia Molechat, and Ava Simpson)

Third Place: L’s Designs; Christ the King Catholic School, Little Rock (Teacher: Paula Frank. Team member: Lily Mayner)

Fourth Place: Flash Brush; Southwest Middle School, Searcy (Teacher: Karm Prock. Team members: Grant Lawson, Wyatt English, Payton Mauldin, and Nicholas Gray)

Arkansas Capital presented cash prizes of $4,000 and a school trophy to the advisors of the four top teams in each category. Each trophy was laser-cut and printed by the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. Arkansas Capital also presented cash prizes of $4,500 to all students who were members of the top three teams. All winning team members also received souvenir medals.

The Y.E.S. competition was launched in 2006 by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF), an affiliate of Arkansas Capital, for all fifth- through eighth-grade students in Arkansas. This year, 224 business plans were submitted from 29 schools in 17 counties, engaging 662 students. More than 70 judges volunteered to read and score the plans in the preliminary round.

Since 2006, 7,067 elementary, middle, and junior high students have participated in Y.E.S. AEAF and Arkansas Capital have awarded more than $66,500 in cash prizes to students and teachers.

Arkansas Capital created AEAF in 1999 as a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to education-based initiatives that promote and foster the development of innovation and entrepreneurship within Arkansas. AEAF also manages and produces the Y.E.S. for Arkansas 2.0 High School Business Plan Competition and the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition.

Arkansas Capital and its affiliates empower entrepreneurs by providing lending opportunities to businesses, in conjunction with community banks, through its capital availability products; and also advocates for entrepreneurs through capital, educational, and other initiatives.

In addition to the flagship company, Arkansas Capital Corporation, the five affiliate and partner companies: Six Bridges Capital Corporation, Arkansas Capital Relending Corporation, AEAF, Heartland Renaissance Fund, and Pine State Regional Center.


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