$1,000 prize for YEP competition winner

Skye Kinkade
Weed High School junior Andrew Matheson took home $1,000 last week for winning first place in the YEP competition. Pictured are judges Audra Gibson, Joy Price, Renee Getreu, Matheson, YEP coordinator Kim Greene and COS Dean of Career and Technical Education Robert Taylor.

Weed High School junior Andrew Matheson won $1,000 yesterday for his idea to create a “Teacher-To-Go App.”

The cash prize was part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program, which challenges fledgling entrepreneurs to develop feasible business plans that could succeed in their own community.

A total of $2,100 was awarded to five YEP winners from Weed and Mount Shasta high schools at the conclusion of the March 19 Junior Day.

Juniors from high schools across the county attended the event, which included sessions with local business leaders. They learned about different avenues of employment including appropriate dress, what to do at a job interview, general expectations of behavior and attitude on the job, and social media dos and don’ts.

Keynote speaker EJ Carrion talked to the juniors about putting themselves out there in order to succeed. Carrion is the author of the Amazon best seller Accelerate Your Success: How to Create a Future and Stand Out When College is Not Enough.

The students got to check out the different businesses proposed for the YEP competition and selected one as the “Fan Favorite” through text messaging.

WHS sophomore Scotti Thienpheth took second place in the YEP competition with his idea to create The Hot Box, a food cart that caters to high school students so they don’t have to leave campus for lunch. He won $500.

WHS senior Lauren Gubetta won $300 for her business idea, New Age Sports.

MSHS junior Olivia Vasquez got an honorable mention and won $150 for her business concept: Eats & Sweets Bakery. She was also voted “fan favorite” by her peers and received an extra check for $150.

A second honorable mention $150 prize went to WHS junior Hannah Stuard for her “Type1Tutor” idea.

Matheson said he isn’t sure what he’ll do with the money, but he’ll probably save most of it. He isn’t sure where he wants to go to college yet, but he may be interested in business.

The five finalists presented their business ideas during Junior Day to a panel of judges including Keli Anthis from Shasta Inn, Audra Gibson from Great Northern Corp., Shannon Jackson from US Bank, Joy Taylor from COS and Renee Getreu from JEDI.

To get to the final level of the YEP competition, the five students beat out many other competitors by first recording elevator pitches for their business plans, which were posted on You Tube. The students who created the best of those short clips moved on to the second stage of the competition, which required them to make a detailed business plan of something that would potentially succeed in Siskiyou County.

MSHS students participated in the program under the supervision of teacher Bright Stock. WHS students were directed by teacher Josh Oates.

YEP is sponsored by College of the Siskiyous, Siskiyou County ROP, STEP, College Options, Shasta College, California Community Colleges and US Bank and awarded a