Photo: Latisha Jones, 17, of Mott Middle College, has been named among the top five regional winners in a GISD contests for pitching business ideas or products. She also recently participated in a Flint Courier News project.
The Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) held its 2nd Annual Countywide Pitch Competition virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. High school students from across Genesee County were asked to submit video pitches for an original business idea or product. The GISD announced 34 students from 12 school districts around the county submitted outstanding pitches.
Youth Entrepreneurship Club advisors selected one winner from each school district. Judges from GISD, Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation determined the five top regional winners from the district winners. Each district winner receives a $200 cash card. The top five regional winners each receive an additional $300 cash card.
Latisha Jones, 17, of Mott Middle College, who will be a senior in the 2020-2021 school year, has been named among the top five regional winners. Jones also had the opportunity to participate in the Flint Courier News’ Facebook project about the Flint Water Crisis as a blogger and podcaster recently, as well. Her business Mo’Shea Whipped Butters specializes in hand made beauty products for Black women and other women of color. She said all her products are hand-made, cruelty-free and vegan.
“I’ve always been passionate about body butter,” Jones said. “I grew up with shea butter in my household. People always ask my questions about my skin and comment on how moisturized it looks.”
This inspired Jones’ business.
As a hands-on learner, Jones said she also likes to make things.
She said she is grateful to the GISD for allowing her to showcase her business to the public. She had entered the contest with the same business just last year.
“Last year when I entered I won districtwide, which was for my school locally,” Jones said. “Then I lost when I went countywide. I was a bit discouraged, but it taught me how to prepare and continue to go on with my business.”
It meant a lot to Jones to be among the top five this year. With the funds she will receive, she plans to invest to make the business be more efficient so the work is less time consuming.
“Time is very valuable.”
The students with the winning pitches are as follows:
*Regional Winners (Top 5):
|1. Abigail Carrigan||Fenton High School||Sock and Assist|
|2. Latisha Jones||Mott Middle College||Mo’Shea Whipped Butters|
|3. Lillian Miller||Clio High School||Pre Glam|
|4. Jazmine Whitehorn||Carman-Ainsworth High||Custom Shoes|
|5. TK Thomas||Flint Southwestern Academy||100% Truth|
|1. Jaden Lockrey||Montrose High School|
|2. Jazmine Whitehorn||Carman-Ainsworth High School|
|3. Abigail Carigan||Fenton High School|
|4. TK Thomas||Flint Southwestern Academy|
|5. Samuel Mobley||Bentley High School|
|6. Treasure Page||Hamady High School|
|7. Galvin Lawrence||Lake Fenton High School|
|8. Anjola Adigun||YouthQuest|
|9. Sakiyah Hale||Genesee High School|
|10. Aaron Hall||Genesee Career Institute|
|11. Lillian Miller||Clio High School|
|12. Latisha Jones||Mott Middle College|
“We are committed to helping students in Genesee County develop entrepreneurial mindsets,” said Sherquanda (Gia) Carroll, youth entrepreneurship coordinator.
“Entrepreneurship has been shown to improve academic performance, interpersonal skills and job readiness,” Carroll added. “We are so proud of all the students who participated in the pitch competition this year and look forward to welcoming even more students next year!”
Video pitches of the Regional Winners can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2AcKVHq.