Scholar Wins Business Competition

Pedro Sanchez-Huantes, a recent graduate of Alliance Renee & Meyer Luskin Academy High School, won first place in Project ECHO’s business plan competition. Project ECHO (Entrepreneurial Concepts Hand On) is a nonprofit organization that provides high school students with business fundamentals, mentoring, college field trips, and activity-based learning opportunities.

During the competition, more than 1,000 students across Los Angeles submitted an original business plan and completed a virtual, formal presentation in front of a panel of professionals. Pedro presented a business idea for “South Central Skate,” a private, indoor skateboard park and store near his home in South Central Los Angeles, which earned him first place and a $1,000 scholarship.

Jose Barceloa, an ELA teacher and Project ECHO leader at Alliance Luskin Academy, was not surprised that Pedro beat 21 other teams (many from schools in more affluent communities with greater resources) in his category of Consumer Products and Hardware because Pedro was “very focused and worked incredibly hard during a very uncertain time. He devoted more hours than any student I’ve advised in the past five years. He also persisted despite lacking some technological resources at home.”

Pedro described his plan as “a unity in the community model,” which Mr. Barcelona noted as a reflection of Pedro’s character. Check out his impressive presentation here in which he outlines marketing strategies, financial analysis, operations, and even accounts for the newfound challenges of COVID-19.

Project ECHO will be launching the 2020-21 program virtually in September. Click here for more information.

NOTE: Pedro planned to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall, but identity theft issues caused challenges with his financial aid applications. Please consider contributing to his GoFundMe campaign.