McCluer North students advance to finals in entrepreneurship challenge

O'Ryan Bolden, Cherish Thompson, Cassandra Childrey from McCluer North High School are advancing to the national finals for the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York in October.

Three students from McCluer North High School, in the Ferguson Florissant School District, competed in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Regional Challenge and will move on to compete in NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York on October 18.

Cassandra Childrey, sophomore at McCluer North, placed first for her business idea Flashing Hounds, a dog leash that glows for night pet-walkers, and O’Ryan Bolden and Cherish Thompson received second place for their business idea Safe Shades, a pharmaceutical product that alters the color of medications for easy identification.

Childrey won $1,500, Bolden and Thompson won $1000, and all students earned an all-expense paid trip to the finals in New York.

Students had to pitch their projects to six judges in “Shark Tank-style” presentations. The judges asked very specific questions about each presentation, and the students had to answer each question in detail explaining how their business idea would solve a real-world problem.

“The girls did an excellent job of presenting and answering questions,” said Jacob Lapinski, business teacher at McCluer North. “Even though they were nervous, they were very poised and professional and showed a lot of passion. These girls did a lot of work on their own through research and development for their ideas.”

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