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Local YEA! students take first place in competition

by Jennifer Lee

Washington, D.C. - Two Rochester teens are celebrating their win at the YEA! Saunders Scholar Competition.

"Of course you get the jitters when they start announcing but I was very confident in our business," says Luke Zaremski, with Pheonix Haberdashery.

First place for these McQuaid Jesuit High School students means thousands of dollars in scholarship money, business startup prizes, and a chance to audition on ABC's Shark Tank.

"I think a lot more people are going to know about us now we're definitely going to make more ties, more inventory, we're going to get into several retailers and from there, we'll just plan to grow," says Riley Benner with Pheonix Haberdashery.

Rochester's Noah Corette, of Toller Brand Game Calls, did not place in the top three but he says the competition was worth it.

"I've gotten so many connections with very important people," says Corette. "I've got business cards of people I never thought I would get to even meet. It's just such a great opportunity to get to know people and get experience from important, successful, people."

The founder of YEA!, Gayle Jagel, says she is confident all of the finalists will continue to be successful entrepreneurs.

"I truly believe that if we teach young people how to make a job, not just take a job, we'll create a culture of innovation in our states, in our regions, in our country, that's good for the entire nation," says Jagel.

The students have no plans on giving up on their business. Toller Brand Game Calls is already being sold online and at a local store in Hamlin.

As for Phoenix Haberdashery, their reversible ties will launch at Parkleigh this week.


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