A senior and two juniors from Buckhannon Upshur High School want to use abandoned tools and equipment to make decorative pieces for homes, businesses and landscaping. That unique business idea helped Brian Carson, Leah Stankus and Natalie Thorpe win a $10,000 college scholarship in the third annual West Virginia Statewide High School Business Plan Competition on March 19 in a field of eight finalist teams.

“We, as three friends with different skills, want to expand our business past our high school classroom and bring quality products to the residents of West Virginia,” Stankus said. And their plan to provide the highest quality of artwork is as distinctive as combining it with the skills they have learned in their welding classroom.

The three students will split the $10,000 scholarship to each attend one of 10 participating West Virginia colleges and universities. The students were chosen as the top entrant in the state from a field of competitors that included 27 schools. The West Virginia Statewide High School Business Plan Competition is hosted by the BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, located in the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.

“This year’s competition was extremely competitive and it was noticeable that the finalists put a lot of time and effort into developing their business ideas and presenting to the field of judges,” said Julia Bolt, assistant director in the BrickStreet Center and coordinator of the event. “The judges deliberated for an extensive amount of time before determining the winners from Buckhannon Upshur High School.”

Aside from Three Amigo Metalworks, finalist teams included TekSHOES, Kyle Caruso, John Marshall High School (2nd place); Go-Chanics, McKenzie Granata and Regan Sands, Sissonville High School (3rd Place); Generation Backpack, Hannah Morgan, Westside High School; Ice-Cream Dream, Levite Severance, Hampshire Senior High School; Spencer Martial Arts Karate Academy, Kamarie and Kurt Shultis, Roane County High School; Stars, Stripes and Paws, Madison Jennings, Sissonville High School; and The Health Hut, Linda Neff, Fayette Institute of Technology.

Schools participating by offering $10,000 scholarships include Bethany College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Shepherd University, University of Charleston, West Liberty University, West Virginia University, West Virginia University at Parkersburg and West Virginia Wesleyan College.

The competition is made possible through funding from the BrickStreet Insurance Foundation and a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Additional support is provided by Regional Education Service Agencies and the West Virginia Department of Education.

For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, follow B&E on Twitter at @wvucobe or visit be.wvu.edu.


CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics
patrick.gregg@mail.wvu.edu; 304.293.5131


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