Meadowcreek High School held its second "Shark Tank" event of the year on May 17.
"As a graduate of Gwinnett County Public Schools, it was great to witness such an innovative learning experience and I look forward to seeing the continued success of this experience for students at Meadowcreek," said Ryan Jones, a community banker for BrandBank.
Meadowcreek has five school-based enterprises connected to its five college and career academies that are collectively referred to as "The Schools of Meadowcreek U."
In September, each school-based enterprise partnered with an educational business mentor who researched and worked with students on the soft skills needed to move their business forward. Students met with their mentors on a monthly basis to discuss sales and marketing strategies, business plans and cost analyses.
"Having Ms. (Maria) Peck mentor my group was a blessing in disguise," said Meadowcreek student Leann Nguyen. "She helped transform my SBE into one that can pitch to any group of potential business partners. Her feedback helped us grow not just the SBE, but into ourselves as individuals."
Business mentors included Jones of BrandBank, Juan Flores of Synovus, Maria Peck of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Erik J. Provitt of Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation and Deirdra Cox from Community Sustainability Enterprise.
The "Shark Tank" event was the culmination of a series of meetings and mentoring opportunities with business partners. Each school-based enterprise had the opportunity to present to a group of business partners for a chance to win $500 for their business.
Student ambassadors had five minutes to present their business plan and another five minutes for a Q&A session involving the judges. After listening to each presentation and scoring them, the judges announced Creek Caterers, from the Meadowcreek U School of Health & Hospitality, and WMHS Productions, from the Meadowcreek U School of Communication & Arts, as this year's school-based enterprise winners. Both teams were awarded $500 from Community Sustainability Enterprise to continue expanding their business.
Judges for the final pitch competition included Tania Allen, president & CEO, ItGresa Consulting Group; Scott W. Luton, managing partner at TalentStream; Antonio Molina, general manager, Consultorio Medico Hispano; Jesus Martinez, principal at Peach Tree Commercial Capital; and Rhonda Anderson, founder of A Scholar's Touch LLC.
GPS Hospitality announced 13 seniors from Gwinnett County Public Schools were awarded a Burger King McLamore Foundation scholarship on May 16.
In total, 187 Burger King McLamore Foundation scholarships were given to students in 10 states this year.
Funded solely through local restaurants, guest donations, students named Burger King Scholars received $1,000 scholarships to further their educational advancement.
"We celebrate the achievements of the 187 McLamore scholars whose dedication and hard work are being honored by both GPS and Burger King, as well as the many restaurants guests who donated to this worthy cause," said Tom Garrett, CEO of GPS Hospitality.