DCHS senior qualifies for National YE competition


Jana Garcia, 12, holds up the logo for her business Hand-Me-UPs.

Victoria Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

Early this May, Dodge City High School senior, Jana Garcia, was announced as a top 10 finalist for the Young Entrepreneurs Big Idea Startup Challenge, granting her the opportunity to compete at the national level in a competition held in Detroit, Michigan at the end of this month.

The Startup Challenge is a youth competition that allows YE students to compete against other students from across the nation. In the challenge, students are required to create a business pitch and submit it to a panel of judges to be reviewed and ultimately selected. The competition is based on business development and giving potential entrepreneurs a chance to get a glimpse of what running a business is like.

Garcia originally heard about the competition after her YE teacher, Kristi Wherritt asked her to consider it. In order to be entered into the competition, Garcia had to submit a 3-4 page executive summary about her business, alongside a three minute video pitch. After applying she had to wait for the top 25 students to be selected and afterwards voting was open to the public. A select group of judges chose the top 10 finalists, in which Garcia was chosen. Garcia recounts the excitement she encountered when she found out she was selected as a finalist.

“I was actually in the McDonald’s drive-thru when I received word of the results. I was so excited as I read the email that I was holding back the line and a McDonald’s employee had to whistle at me to get my attention,” said Garcia.

Garcia’s business is called “Hand-Me-UPs” and is a business dedicated to taking in unwanted clothing items and using the scraps to create something better and brand new. Hand-Me-UPs also creates customizable clothing items with the clothing the customer supplies. Currently, Garcia is preparing for the national competition, where she will get to present her business pitch to a panel of judges. So far, she has watched her opponents videos to get an idea of what she’ll be up against, as well as reviewing the judge’s comments she received during the semi-finals. Her plan is to use these comments as an aid to better her business plan structure. 

“I am meticulously prepping all things needed to execute my presentation along with creating a couple of prototypes of my own to represent my business,” said Garcia.

At the Startup Challenge final competition, finalists will be asked to present a five minute presentation along with a five minute question and answer session in regards to their business. Garcia is looking forward to the opportunity this competition will present and is hoping to be the recipient of the grand prize which will help make her business come to fruition.