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Grant helps Tapia start business

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’Tis the season when an unexpected get-away may arise, leaving homeowners struggling to find childcare for their furry friends or house-sitting services so homes look occupied while away.
Los Alamos Middle School, eighth grade student Esperanza Tapia is here to save the day (or the week), with the help of the Los Alamos Youth Business Grant Program.
The 13-year-old has turned her passion for childcare into a family-friendly, one-stop service.
“I have been pet sitting and babysitting for a few years for family, friends and neighbors,” said Tapia, who is the proud owner of a dog, cat and (very soon) of a Havana rabbit.
In addition to her pet and house sitting duties, the teen who enjoys the performing arts and sings, dances, acts and plays the piano, when not playing tennis or spending time with friends.
When Tapia’s mom showed her the flyer for the YBGP Program, she decided having her own business for the summer would be a great idea.
“I am very interested in learning to manage all the responsibilities involved in owning a small business,” Tapia said. “ I believe that I have great customer service skills and I believe the Youth Business Grant is a great way to strengthen these skills.”
This grant funding has allowed Tapia to get busy in an “educational way,” by allowing her to acquire the supplies needed to get her business started.
Tapia decided to use the $275 to purchase a first aid kit for children and another for pets. Additional funds have been used to help her print flyers and business cards to distribute around the community.
Her mom and dad have been instrumental in assisting Tapia with getting her business off the ground, but the grant also provided the funds for a bicycle-ready bag to carry her supplies.
“It is very exciting for me that Esperanza was awarded a YBGP award,” said Tapia’s mom, Joyce Ortega-Tapia. “Esperanza is always very eager to try new things and this is a great opportunity for her to spend her summer meeting new people in Los Alamos through her business and through the program and also to learn how to effectively manage her grant money and profits gained from her summer business.”
Tapia can be reached by cell at 470-8889 or by email at anzafrance@comcast.net and has a flexible schedule to accommodate the travel and babysitting needs of others.
“Many people worry about their pets when they have to plan a trip away from home, but having a responsible caretaker will help them feel more relaxed on their time away from home.”
More information on services provided by local and regional youth is available at ybgp.org.