Young entrepreneur awarded

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By Gabriel Vasquez

Her love of arts and crafts and initiative to make some summer money paid off.

Los Alamos High School graduate Sarah Seidel padded her college savings account Tuesday, after receiving a $1,000 scholarship from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation.

Seidel wrote an essay describing her entrepreneurial endeavors to the organization, which encourages students to consider a career in small business.

“I wrote about a business I started with my friends in the summer of 2005,” she said. “We made and sold greeting cards and other small items through Village Arts and CeCe’s Garden.”

Quotidian Designs, Seidel’s summer start-up, was made possible by received a youth business grant from the Los Alamos Small Business Development Center, a process that was facilitated by Seidel’s marketing teacher.

“We did it in my friend’s basement,” she said. “It was a great experience because none us had a job before. We gained some experience and insight into the business world.”

Seidel worked on the business with fellow LAHS honor graduates Kelsey Souza and Elise Dinehart.

Of the 8,000 plus students who applied for the NFIB scholarship, only about 400 received awards.

“NFIB congratulates this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes the scholarships will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths toward successful futures,” said Don V. Cogman, chair, NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation board of directors.

Seidel said the local community’s fervent support of education and helpful programs at Los Alamos High School are part of the reason she was able to receive the award.

“This community really inspires people to achieve,” Seidel said. “We wanted to do it on our own and we did. We went around to a lot of different businesses around town to see if they would let us sell. My education here had a lot to do with that.”

The local entrepreneurship program at LAHS, DECA, is geared toward students with a career interest in finance, sales and service, business administration and entrepreneurship – and is also the program that helped get Seidel started in her business ventures.

“I hope to study business,” she said. “I’ve been a marketing intern at Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation for two years. It’s been very interesting.”

Seidel was also the recipient of a local Pepsi-Cola scholarship, a New Mexico Marketing Educators scholarship, and a grant-winner from Otis Spunkmeyer, a baked goods distribution company.

Seidel said starting another small business is definitely a possibility for the future.

For now, she plans to attend Texas Tech University in the fall, where she will be majoring in business.

“We had fun and made a little summer money to spend,” she said. “We all enjoy doing crafts. It was great.”