Fall 2021 PITCH CHALLENGE
Fall 2021 WYOMING YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR PITCH CHALLENGE
In the fall of 2021, WYAA invited young people to think of a product, business or social solution that could make a difference to their community or to Wyoming. More than 40 students, participating individually or in small teams, answered the call. WYAA is proud to announce the contest winners.
Fall 2021 Pitch Challenge Winners
- 1st Place: Caydence Engling from Buffalo High School, Full of Purpose Planner – Handmade paper planners and stationery.
- 2nd Place: Jeremiah Hawley from Buffalo High School, Levitate U – A website to help people learn computer science and cybersecurity.
- 3rd Place (Tie): Grant Keeler from Buffalo High School, Hearty Hooks – A fishing hook with deployable barb.
- 3rd Place (Tie): Isabelle Haas from Buffalo High School, Buffalo Wild Rings – Rings made out of recycled spoons.
- Spirit of Wyoming Award (This award is for a young person who is interested in community improvement through a social solution.): Isaiah Prince and Deverey Ivie from Star Valley High School, Helper Hutt – A volunteer hub and helping hand for those that need it.
“The young people who entered the contest each displayed creativity and persistence,” said Michelle Sullivan, WYAA’s Director. “As we know, young people in Wyoming are looking toward the future. An important part of the entrepreneurial process is imagining solutions to problems they face every day.”
Volunteer judges from across the state included past Pitch Challenge winner Molly Doss, Alexis Drake owner Lexie Garret, MakerSpace 307 director David Maulik, and Goose’s Kitchen owner and Wind River Start Up Challenge winner Leslie Spoonhunter. They ranked each entry on three categories: creativity, persuasiveness, and overall presentation. Thanks go to Impact307 for making the StartUp Tree platform available for this contest.
Judge David Maulik commented, “Judging the WYAA youth pitch challenge has given me an opportunity to peer behind the curtain at the ideas of the next generation entrepreneurs and problem-solvers in Wyoming. I am confident that if we give these students the assistance, support, and encouragement moving forward we have a good chance to help them solve the problems our state is currently facing and be ready to tackle any more that come our way.”
WYAA offers support to the adults who work with the young entrepreneurs. A set of six modules with activities and interactive videos walks through the steps of identifying a problem and understanding customers all the way to making a pitch. Other supports include roundtable discussions and one-on-one coaching calls.
Michelle said, “We know that not all adults feel like they have experience as entrepreneurs. We have found that the entrepreneurial process has the potential to develop curiosity, problem solving, and empathy – all skills that help young people to be successful. These are just some of the skills that afterschool and out-of-school time settings are uniquely positioned to support.”
The Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Initiative is a result of a growing community of partners including Wyoming 4-H, the University of Wyoming, Impact307, afterschool organizations statewide, and many volunteers.
This initiative is made possible by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The grant is intended to promote innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset for youth in Wyoming.
Fall 2021 Celebration Video
Young people in Wyoming are courageous, adaptable, persistent, optimistic and empathetic. These skills are on display in the Fall 2021 Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge presented by the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance. In the fall of 2021, WYAA invited young people to think of a product, business or social solution that could make a difference to their community or to Wyoming. More than 40 students, participating individually or in small teams, answered the call. Learn more in the following video.
WHY ARE PITCH CHALLENGES SO GREAT?
WYAA invites your afterschool program, class, or club to participate in pitch challenges to think of a product, business or social solution that could make a difference to your community or to Wyoming. Learn more in the following video.
Mission: The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is a statewide network working to create the conditions for young people to reach their full potential. We are a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation.
WYOMING AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE
1472 N. 5th Street, Suite 201
Laramie, WY 82072
AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS IN WYOMING ARE HIGH-QUALITY, EDUCATION-FOCUSED, SAFE PLACES FOR ALL OF WYOMING’S YOUTH. QUALITY PRACTICES HELP MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES
(PQPs) are research-based guidelines that provide a common understanding of the essential components of quality practice in afterschool and youth development programs.
The PQPs provide programs, communities and stakeholders with a way to voluntarily examine the quality of programs and to engage in important discussions about program quality. They set the stage for development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services that will best serve Wyoming’s children and youth. Most of all, they send the message that we believe quality is important, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving quality.
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES WEBINAR
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance with assistance from National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST – http://www.niost.org/) produced an informative 20-minute webinar to walk through the PQPs and information about how to put them into practice in your afterschool program!
- Section 1: Introduction to the Wyoming Program Quality Practice
- Section 2: Putting the PQPs into Practice
- Section 3: Connecting Quality
The webinar was produced in partnership with Wyoming afterschool professionals: Tamera Allen – Program Director of Double AAces in Weston County SD #1, Karen Bierhaus – Education Consultant with 21st CCLC at the Wyoming Department of Education, Shannon Christian – Executive Director of the Worland Youth Learning Center, Kei Owen – former Grant Assistant with the Natrona County Prevention Coalition, Tamra Petersen – Program Coordinator with the Uinta County BOES Education Center, and Christine Turner – former Program Director with Lincoln County School District #1.
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES USER GUIDE
This user guide describes how the PQPs fit into WYAA’s quality improvement efforts and offers concrete ways to use the PQPs. All school age, afterschool, and youth development programs in Wyoming can use this guide to improve their programming. This guide may also be a resource for families, community members, funders, and advocates who partner with program providers to improve outcomes for children and youth.
The user guide provides context for the eight domains of the PQPs:
- Physical Environment, Curriculum, and Program Activities
- Assessment, Planning, and Improvement
- Child and Youth Engagement
- Families and Communities
- Safety, Health, and Wellness
- Leadership and Administration
- Professional Development
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES SELF ASSESSMENT
This tool was designed to help afterschool and youth development professionals develop high-quality out-of-school time programs. It may also be a useful checklist for families. This self-assessment is a companion to the PQPs, which are based on research on best practices in programs for afterschool and youth development.
The National Afterschool Alliance’s Core Knowledge and Competencies enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities–particularly from school officials–that has long been sought after.
THE STATE OF AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMMING IN WYOMING: AN ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONSS
In 2010, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, a C.S. Mott Foundation Statewide Afterschool Network and an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, launched a research project to survey the capacity of public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming.
APAS – AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM ASSESSMENT SYSTEM
Program assessment is invaluable to creating the highest quality afterschool programs. WYAA, with support from National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) implemented the initiative.
Outcomes from APAS include:
- An upward trend in attitudes, skills and behaviors of youth
- Peer networking and relationship building between programs
- A statewide shared vision and understanding of high quality afterschool and OST programming
WYOMING CAREER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM REPORT
The Wyoming Career Development System Report identifies six components of a comprehensive career development system and makes recommendations for advancing each component in Wyoming. A cross-sector, continuum approach (one that supports those who serve a broad range of ages) is the most cost-effective way to provide quality programming for children and youth. With this in mind, these recommendations build on current systems and initiatives established in the early childhood field.