WINTER 2020-21 PITCH CHALLENGE
WINTER 2021 WYOMING YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR PITCH CHALLENGE
The Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Initiative cultivated by the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance (WYAA) encourages young people to explore and practice entrepreneurship and develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge for Winter 2021 provided a platform for young people across the state to apply these skills and WYAA is proud to celebrate the standouts.
Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Winners
- Spirit of Wyoming Award presented by the Frederick and Patricia Supper Foundation (This award is for a young person who is interested in community improvement through a social solution.): Tutor-Tastic Submitted by Molly Doss from Star Valley
- 1st Place: Unity Community Submitted by Eliza Petty and Holly Draney from Star Valley
- 2nd Place: Astrospace Submitted by Riley O’Brien, Ivey Goff, Mari Ford, and Julia Quintinilla from Thermopolis
- 3rd Place: Swim Gym N’ Games Submitted by Kiara Kemp and Ryan Heiner from Star Valley
- 4-H Craftsman Award: Hatch Tack, Handcrafted Rifle Scabbards Submitted by Levi Hatch from Saratoga
Find a video introducing the winners at https://youtu.be/rdbSBg3HV5E.
WYAA would like to thank the Pitch Challenge judges: Baylie Evans, gBETA Cheyenne Director; Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College Instructor of Marketing, Business; Kayleigh Lund, Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge Summer 2020 Winner; and Kyle Trumble, Central Wyoming College Instructor of Business.
Michelle Sullivan, WYAA Director, stated, “The Alliance is proud to encourage young people to develop and apply valuable skills that will help them excel today and into the future.”
Sullivan added, “Young people are truly making a difference in their communities. It was wonderful to see the diverse ways they answered the challenge to develop an idea for a business innovation or social solution. It demonstrates that we develop wealth not only by growing our economy but through growing our connection to community.” Entries ranged from artistic and functional leathercraft to helping middle schoolers transition to high school with a network of support in place.
To support the effort, afterschool program providers participated in regular informational sessions with local and national entrepreneurship leaders including Ron and Carson Rabou, Rabou Farms; Matthew Fox, University of Wyoming; and Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College.
In one coaching session, Ron Rabou captured the value of entrepreneurship activities like pitch challenges: “When you’re involved in a program like this, you learn how to see things differently. You are able to see things not for what they are but what they can be.” He said, “A lot of times we don’t try things because we think we’re not going to be good at them. But if we don’t try them, how do we know that? The key is that every day you’re putting your best effort forward.”
“We were so pleased to have the opportunity to work with and learn from all of the kids who participated in the cohort,” Sullivan said.
The Initiative is a result of a growing community of partners including Wyoming 4-H, Hilltop Bank, the University of Wyoming, Impact 307, afterschool organizations statewide, and many volunteers. This effort is made possible through a grant to WYAA from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which includes support for technical assistance from the Young Entrepreneur Institute and VentureLab. The grant is intended to promote innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset for youth in Wyoming. If you would like more information, visit https://wyafterschoolalliance.org/wyoming-young-entrepreneur-initiative/.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINTER 2021 WINNERS!
WYAA is proud to celebrate the winners of the Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge for Winter 2021!
WHY ARE PITCH CHALLENGES SO GREAT?
WYAA invites your organization 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!
EXPLORE THE WYOMING YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR PITCH CHALLENGE
Are you up for the challenge? Pitch challenges are a great opportunity for any organization that connects to youth, including 4-H, FBLA, FFA, makerspaces, libraries, and others . Learn about past WYAA Pitch Challenges at the links below.
HOST YOUR OWN PITCH CHALLENGE USING AGE-SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS
WYAA is proud to work with organizations that can offer age-specific resources to students from 6-18. Explore the links below.
ROUNDTABLES OFFER GUIDANCE ON CULTIVATING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
February 11: The Do’s and Don’ts of Filming and Uploading a Pitch – Do you have a young person interested in submitting an entry for the Wyoming Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge? Young Entrepreneur Institute Marketing Coordinator Matthew Podl has worked with hundreds of young people across the country and leads this presentation. While crafting a pitch may be challenging, filming and submitting one can be easy!
January 28: Special guests Ron and Carson Rabou shared ideas on using the Entrepreneurial Mindset to inspire young people and to encourage young people to see risks as opportunities that will help them to gain valuable experiences to last a lifetime. Ron Rabou is the founder of Rabou Farms and an inspiring public/motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur based in southeastern Wyoming. Carson Rabou is a first-place winner of the Summer Pitch Challenge. He and his brothers are the founders of Rabros, LLC. The business provides personally homegrown, wholesome, certified organic products.
January 7: UW Host Heather Heath and young entrepreneur Kayleigh Lund talked about ways that a pitch challenge can inspire young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Jessie Jones and Kelly Biggar from Young Entrepreneur Institute shared perspectives on ways afterschool programs and youth serving organizations effectively use pitch challenges as part of a wider effort to help young people practice problem-solving, think critically, and share their voice. Identifying the Competition with the “Favorite Cookie” exercise was the module highlight.
December 17: Special guest speakers Matthew Fox, University of Wyoming Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Minden Fox, Laramie County Community College Marketing and Entrepreneurship Instructor addressed “Identifying Solutions in Your Daily Life.” Matthew’s teaching interests include entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, negotiations, and strategy. Minden’s focus is on the newly re-developed Entrepreneurship program that focuses on supporting students with business ideas and helping them develop these ideas into something feasible.
November 19: VentureLab Director of Education and Training Scott Mann focused on “Defining the Problem,” the important first step in the entrepreneurial process that helps young people think critically about the world around them so that they can be empowered to contribute solutions.
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.