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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Summer Entrepreneurship camp gives students chance to hone business skills

  • While the halls at Dodge City High School are mostly empty during summer, four incoming freshmen were hard at work preparing business plans this week.


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  •      While the halls at Dodge City High School are mostly empty during summer, four incoming freshmen were hard at work preparing business plans this week.
        Their work was part of the Youth Entrepreneurs and Kansas Kids GEAR-UP Summer Entrepreneurship camp.
        Four students competed against each other during the week to present the best business plan to a panel of judges.
        Andy Ramos took home first place for his start-up business idea, healthy water bottles. He won $30. Jose Argueta took second place and $15 for his small-business idea, a soccer camp.
        Ramos' said the water that athletes in southwest Kansas drink often comes straight from the hose. He said he knows this because he has been an athlete all his life.
        "We'll just provide clean-filtered water for your athletes to drink," he said Friday. "I'm an athlete myself, and I get tired of drinking straight hose water or drinking water out of a fountain at school."
        The second-place winner's business also focused on sports.
        Argueta said his plan would give kids something to do during the summer.
        "I'm doing a soccer camp with kids ages 6 through 14," he said. "I'll be charging $20 for each kid for two hours a day for two weeks."
        His idea was rooted in his passion for soccer.
        Although they didn't place, Jesus Esparza and Antonion Quinonze were also proud of their plans. Esparza found a way to sell cheap crocodile-skin boots, and Quinonze's plan called for opening a baseball equipment store.
        Students were judged based on a rubric with six different categories, said Kylie Zibell, southwest region manager for Youth Entrepreneurs.
        "They are going to be looking at their business description, mission statement, marketing strategy," she said.
        All four were rated in several other categories as well.
        GEAR-UP instructor Melody Head said the four freshman spent three hours a day working on their business plans during the weeklong camp.
        "Pretty short amount of time to put in all this stuff," she said. "We had a speaker come in, Jessica McNiece, and talk to them about marketing and stuff."
        Head said all four were GEAR-UP students, and that's how they got involved with the Youth Entrepreneur program. There are approximately 100 USD 443 students in the GEAR-UP program.
        While Head said turn-out could have been better, it was still a success for the students who did participate.
        "These kids learned a lot," she said.
        
    Reach Mark Reagan at (620) 408-9931 or email him at mark.reagan@dodgeglobe.com.
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