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JA Wraps Up Successful DYI Program

And that’s a wrap!

DYI1Our 7-week Driven Youth Invitational series came to a close last Tuesday evening at Firespring. During the final session, students heard from Collin Caneva from Gear Five with his message “Start. Stay Motivated. Don’t Quit.”

After being inspired by the final presenter, the students took the floor to show what they’d learned. Nine groups made presentations, pitching the business plans they’d written for the businesses they’d like to start. Inspired by the “Shark Tank” television show, they were judged by our very own panel of local “sharks”: Collin Caneva of Gear Five Studios, Blake Lawrence of Hurrdat, Randy Kinney of IntoMetal, Mailani Veney of Lincoln Industries, and Brian Ardinger of NMotion. The students came up with some innovative ideas, and our sharks were impressed!

DYI3Of course, there was real money on the line too! Pius X senior Grant McElroy was awarded the $500 Junior Achievement DYI scholarship sponsored by Nelnet for his essay regarding what he has learned throughout the DYI program. Congratulations to Grant!

Two lucky students were also drawn as the winners of the Kindle Fires donated by Kaplan University. Entries into the drawing were given based on attendance at DYI evening events, and the winners were 9th grader Kaylee Mittelstadt and 11th grader Annie Hua, both from Lincoln Southeast.

DYI2An extra special thank you goes out to the generous sponsors that made this one-of-a-kind program possible: Gallup, Nelnet, Kaplan, and NEEBO. Because of them, and also our wonderful group of speakers, this group of high school students has had an experience that could truly change the trajectory of their lives. They were given a window into the world of entrepreneurship from those who live it every day, and their options for success are open wider than ever before!

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