By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
Today, Los Alamos High School student Jonmichael Weaver and home school student Savannah Martinez will compete in a small business grand championship, as part of Los Alamos ScienceFest activities.
The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation’s Summer Youth Business Grant program originally supported the entrepreneurs with business grants to begin their businesses back in May. At summer’s end, the students made presentations to a small committee in August, finishing in the top three spots and advancing to the next level of competition against Taos, Espanola and Santa Fe.
The Feynman Center and the LANL Community Programs Office played a role in acknowledging the efforts of students via a selection committee comprised of Ted Lopez of UNM-Los Alamos, Chad Lauritzen of Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) and Connie Prouix of the LACDC.
The Feynman Center, Community Programs Office and UNM-LA will host the final leg of the competition this evening.
The Los Alamos competition saw 11 finalists competing for the top three slots and included a third place finish by Savannah Martinez of Genesis Eggs, second place by Adele Mitchell’s Delta Designs, showcasing recycled jewelry and first place by Jonmichael Weaver of Buddy’s Beans.
Martinez worked with her father, to build her own chicken coop and raise her chicken until they were at an egg producing age. The end of the summer found Martinez with her first eggs and on her way to increasing production. Martinez was invited to the next level after the second place winner was unable to attend, due to school commitments.
Mitchell’s jewelry is available throughout the year at the Fuller Lodge Art Center and by request. Her business is also found via Facebook.
Weaver, roasts coffee in addition to his full time job as Los Alamos High School senior. He took home $350 as his top prize in the local competition.
“I am very grateful,” Weaver said. “I am very humbled to be chosen as a winner.”
Weaver’s business continues to grow each time people learn about his story.
“Sales are exceptionally high,” Weaver said. “Every day for the past two weeks, I have had to roast coffee for orders. Nearly every sale has resulted in a returning customer.”
That’s good news for Weaver as his passion is seeing and meeting new people in the community. Weaver hopes to use a portion of his local win into creating a line of apparel. Weaver is noted for his determination to roast small batches of his product to provide customers with a fresh cup every time.
Learn more about Weaver on Facebook by searching his business name, Buddy’s Beans. He also is available at 505.412.7795.
To make a donation to the 2015 Summer Youth Business Grant Program, call 505.695.9139 or email AssetsInAction@att.net.