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Local Voices: Young, Smart and Sassy

If you think the next generation doesn't have what it takes, look a little deeper.

As is usually the case, I get more than I give. Organizations invite me to join, promote their causes, lend a helping hand in the health and wellness community. While it may sound like I’m complaining, the fact is I’m blessed by the opportunities. Proven once again this past week.

I was invited to judge a Young Entrepreneur competition at the YWCA. Half a day to listen to students pitch new businesses they created, narrowing the field until a winning team was selected. American Idol style. (Ok, I didn’t pull off the Jennifer Lopez thing.)

It takes a lot of guts to stand up on a stage in front of strangers and peers to share an idea that might not make sense to anyone outside of your brain. The risk is ridicule, embarrassment, and anxiety. The reward may appear non-existent. And, the exit was across the room, potentially producing some serious angst.

Instead I saw smiling, albeit nervous students working together as teams, developing ideas and solving challenges that any start up faces. Pitching investors, creating appeal, finding viable vendors. Did I mention these were teens? Yes, the teenagers that we old folks sometimes refer to as lazy, sarcastic and selfish are actually intelligent, giving, and, yes, sassy. Just like most successful entrepreneurs I know.

Business ideas included 4 in 1 pool cleaning, a timesaving chemical, Cool Cup, a portable, scalable beverage holder capable of heating or cooling your drink, Snap Wedge, a sandal designed to morph into evening footwear with the snap of a heel. The winning business Ma’am Mix-A-Lot, a baked goods company, was so developed they included business cards, logo design, profitability, and 4 different cake samples. (Not used as bribes, so we clued them in on leveraging AFTER the event.)

The YWCA does a tremendous job with this program, giving interested students an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of crafting their future, honing interviewing skills, and building ideas synergistically.

I left thinking how fortunate I was to hear them, knowing one day I’ll be purchasing quality products and services from them. I can’t think of a better wellness experience.

Visit msmoderation.com for more on wellness, nutrition and fitness. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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