Business Ideas Showcased by Area Students in E-Fair

Panel Members


Wednesday, November 7th, was a win-win day for a lot of middle and high school students from the region participating in the first annual Lamar Youth Entrepreneurship Fair in Lamar.  Working with Ogallala Commons, a non-profit community development network offering leadership and education to students around the region, 63 students from the 5th to the 12th grade displayed their own business models to a team of local judges and to the general public.

Following the public viewing and team judging, the students which scored the highest on their presentation were selected to pitch their projects to the Investor Panel followed by a brief question and answer session with the panel.

Individual or entrepreneur teams are awarded cash prizes based on these categories: Business Plan, Interview with Judges, Booth Presentation at the Fair, Strategy to Finance the Business or Concept Idea, Network of Resources to Support Business or Concept.

Teams from Campo, Holly, Wiley and Vilas displayed their business models at the Lamar Community Building. The judges included Linda Clark, Eric Depperschmidt, David Esgar, Shannon Garcia, Brenda May, Kimberley Reynolds and Rick Robbins.  The Investor’s Panel members were:  Aaron Leiker, Brad Cook, Travis Hall, Trevor LaCost, Mattie Helm and Theresa Rink.

The Middle School Winners included:

Jorey Billings from Campo won $350 for his first place entry on lawn service care; Wiley students Joshua Barraza, Rhett McDonald and William Pacino took second place with a sports retail outlet while Claire Pendleton and Bethany Summers finished in third with their Pet Paradise operation and Asa Crouch, a home-school student took fourth place with “New Opportunities with Changing Markets.”

High School Winners included:

Alea Wittler, a Vilas student who took first place and won $600 for her entry for “Prairie Pearls”; Shalee Billings of Campo won second place and $300 for “Shay’s Nails”; two other students tied for second place and won $300 each with Cassidie States from Wiley with “32 Degree” and Malcome Lovejoy from Campo with “Malcoroni N’ Cheese; three third place winners received $100 each including two from Campo, Jake Hinds who featured guitar lessons and Jadyn Patrick with “Jady’s Care for Angels.” Holly students Saedee Davis, Leslie Mendoza and Destiny Ramos won $100 for their “Prom-again” wardrobe concept.

Julie Worley, Southeast Youth Engagement Project director announced that $1,800 was awarded to the high school students and $1,200 to the middle school students. Prowers Economic Prosperity donated $1,000 to the event.    Another E-Fair will be held at the same time next year in Lamar and Otero Junior College in La Junta will host a spring event in May, 2019.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of HollyCity of WileyConsumer IssuesEconomyEducationEmploymentEntertainmentEventsFeaturedTourismTransportationUtilitiesYouth


About the Author: