Southwest Middle School Place in State Entrepreneur Contest
Southwest Middle School GT students are budding entrepreneurs, and two groups were selected in the top 25 across the state as creating the best business plan for the 11th Annual Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas. The showcase was held Friday at Park Plaza Mall in Little Rock.
The Y.E.S. business plan competition was created by the Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation (AEAF) in 2005 to introduce Arkansas students in grades 5-8 to the opportunities they could pursue in future years. The students work in teams using higher order thinking skills to craft a business endeavor that will be profitable and innovative. Under the direction of GT coordinator Karm Prock, Southwest Middle School was one of just a handful of schools to have more than one team included in the top twenty-five finalists. Interestingly, when Mrs. Prock was the G/T specialist for the Wilbur Mills Coop, she implemented the Y.E.S. program for Arkansas. Prock says, “I worked to start this program because the only business expo for students was held in Northwest Arkansas. Our central Arkansas G/T teachers wanted our students to be able to participate in a closer location, so I worked to design Y.E.S for Arkansas in partnership with AEAF.” She adds, “It has been so exciting for me to see this program come full circle as I now have my own students competing in the contest.”
The two groups sold items called “Flash Brush” and “H.A.M.M.A Headbandz.” Designers of the Flash Brush, which is a 3-in-1 travel toothbrush includes a brush, breath strips, and floss all together, is made up of Southwest Middle School students Nicholas Gray, Grant Lawson, Payton Mauldin, and Wyatt English. The H.A.M.M.A Headbandz is a fleece headband that holds hand warmers in a pocket over the ears to increase warmth. The young entrepreneurs on the H.A.M.M.A team are Hagan Bryant, Alyssa Day, Mia Molechat, Mary Frances Oxner, and Ava Simpson. Both teams’s products are being sold in local businesses. The H.A.M.M.A Headbandz can be found at Blackbird Clothing Store in Searcy, and the Flash Brushes may be purchased in a Jacksonville dentist’s office.
We at Searcy Public Schools want to congratulate these teams and Mrs. Prock on their creative and profitable products. They represented our district and especially Southwest Middle School in the finest of manners.