'Smelly' Staten Island teen is America's Next Top Young Entrepreneur


'Smelly' Staten Island teen is America's Next Top Young Entrepreneur
  1. 'Smelly' Staten Island teen is America's Next Top Young Entrepreneur
    Teen whose ingenious mind led her to create a clever solution to a smelly problem, has been named America's Next Top Young…
    Lifestyle

STATEN ISLAND, NY - One Staten Island teen, whose ingenious mind led her to create a clever solution to a smelly problem, has been named America's Next Top Young Entrepreneur.

Hooray for Gabrielle Garcia, a junior at Staten Island Technical High School, who won the national Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) 2017 Saunders Scholar Competition earlier this month. And here's the scoop!

Gabrielle, 17, created her product, Stench Snipers, an insert to deodorize and sanitize her smelly, sweaty hockey gloves, through participation in the Staten Island YEA! program, an annual 30-week extracurricular program organized by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

She won the local Staten Island competition in April, then traveled to Rochester, N.Y. to compete on May 5 against 92 other students from 35 states who represented 76 businesses from YEA! programs across the country. At the national competition, Gabrielle  --  wearing her hockey gear  --  began her business pitch by telling potential investors:

"I smell really bad." She ultimately won the top prize: a $30,000 Rochester Institute of Technology scholarship; personal mentoring by E. Philip Saunders, founder of the YEA! program; and an all-expense-paid trip to attend America's Small Business Summit hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington,  D.C. in September.

In addition to first place, Gabrielle was also named the National People's Choice Champion in a text-to-vote poll. "Gabbie was passionate about her idea from the first day I met her, and has worked very hard to bring her product to market. I believe she has the tenacity to succeed in business," said Linda Baran, president and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.

Baran adds: "It's such an honor to see our own Gabbie take home the national win. We at the Chamber are proud to take part in bringing out her entrepreneurial spirit through the YEA! program." As a point of interest, The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce Foundation offers the only YEA! program in New York City; the local program is sponsored by Con Edison and supported by State Senator Andrew J. Lanza.

"The YEA! program evokes the spirit of entrepreneurship and introduces youth to skills they can use for their entire lives," said Katia Gordon, Con Edison's Staten Island Regional & Community Affairs Manager. "Our support is an investment in our community's future leaders." Second place in the national YEA! competition was awarded to…

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