UPDATE: Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) Junior Molly Jamison and her partner Julia Kasper from Penncrest High School came in third place in the 12th Annual Saunders Scholars Competition for young entrepreneurs. They pitched "Girls Spark" an organization that empowers teen girls in the semi-final and final rounds on Saturday, October 17.
As the national third place winners, the pair will receive $2,000 cash for their organization, a trophy, and a $20,000 scholarship to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
Tune in on Saturday, October 17 to see Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) Junior Molly Jamison and her partner Julia Kasper from Penncrest High School pitch "Girls Spark" in the 12th Annual Saunders Scholars Competition.
The team represents one of 36 "companies" from across the country to compete for the title of America's next top entrepreneur, in addition to a share of $80,000 in cash prizes and scholarships.
"This is exciting, because many see it as the Shark Tank for young entrepreneurs like myself," said Molly. "This is also a nationwide contest that has launched many businesses."
The contestants will compete in semifinal rounds throughout the day, with the top eight scorers participating in the finals at 7 p.m. Molly and Julia will present their three-minute pitch of Girls Spark, followed by three minutes of questions and answers, during the fourth panel of the semifinals between 4:30-6 p.m. Viewers are encouraged to register and can participate by voting for the $2,000 People's Choice Award.
Molly and Julia's project, Girls Spark, is a non-profit organization that provides teen girls with a supportive environment where they can learn, collaborate and overcome adversity in facing social issues. The group offers sessions on body image, self defense, sexuality, bullying & harassment, dealing with stress, teen health & nutrition, emotional intelligence and more. During the pandemic, they've continued to provide services virtually.
"I became a part of Girls Spark because their whole message is really about mental health and empowering girls. When I found Girls Spark, I was struggling with my own mental health," said Molly. "I was lucky enough to know the founder through my mom. I joined in ninth grade as an ambassador and have been the Chief Operation Officer for about two years now."
During the 2019-2020 school year, Molly and Julia took Girls Spark to the year-long Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) held at Cabrini University and sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. There, the girls learned how to grow their business, write a business plan and pitch in front of investors. Their business pitch at the end of the year took first place locally and sent them on their way to the national stage.
"The competition is an incredible event celebrating the creativity, grit and perseverance of America's young people," said YEA! funder and billionaire entrepreneur, Phil Saunders. "This year more than ever, we need to acknowledge the achievements and innovations of these young people."