If the future of New Orleans is one of your concerns, you have no need to worry.
The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge, presented in partnership with The Idea Village and Junior Achievement of New Orleans, and the Brees Dream Foundation, wants to ensure that the leaders of tomorrow are equipped to bear the torch for their generation.
On Monday, the The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge kicked off New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. As the upper level of Manning’s filled up and people took their places, a word from Drew Brees (via video) set the tone for the event. Brees assured the final four presenters that the outcome of the competition would not be the determining factor in their success. “Failure ends up being your greatest teacher,” he said.
At the end of the day, Maygan Miquez of St. Mary’s Dominican, walked away with the $15,000 in prizes that more than 100 groups and individuals had competed for. That includes a $10,000 education-based grant, as well as $5,000 awarded to their school.
The youth challenge event was part of NOLA Next: Young Innovators Experience, hosted by Julia Stewart, Director of Programs for Propeller. A panel of six guest judges for the competition included John “Spud” McConnell, Suzanne Alford, Tim Williamson, Joan Y. Davis, Nicolas R. Perkin, and Todd Matherine.
First up was Miss Modest on the Move, a mobile startup designed by Emily Faschan and Katie Scholz of Mount Carmel Academy. It was created when the two found that it was difficult for young girls to find appropriate formal wear to fit their fashion needs while meeting their schools’ dress code.
The second group to pitch was the New Orleans High School Job Association. Claudia Allain, Michael Kuckyr, Hasson Simmons, and Rikia Stewart from International High School set out to help bridge the gap between employers and students seeking part-time employment after school or during the summer.
Maygan Miguez of St. Mary’s Dominican pitched her idea, Style Straps, next. Similar to Miss Modest on the Move, Style Straps attempts to solve the problem of showcasing your style while complying with the dress regulations of each school. The minimal straps can be added to any strapless garment to make both fashionistas and school authorities proud, said Maygan.
The final competitor was Team Sport Spot, also from Mount Carmel Academy. Pooja Lalwani and Gabby Welty are committed to helping students keep up with the score of their favorite teams, via an app that game attendees can access to update the statistics in real time.
Challenge winner Miguez is only a freshman, but this was her second year competing as a finalist in the competition.
“I’m truly amazed to see how much hard work pays off,” Maygan said, after wiping the tears from her eyes.
With her track record, it’s safe to say that we have not seen the last of Maygan Miguez.
This post originally was published on The Idea Village’s #IDEAinsider blog.