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Dayton Oaks student cleans up competition

Howard County Times

Serena Soldavin, a fourth-grader at Dayton Oaks Elementary School, was a big winner at the Young Entrepreneur’s Biz Kidz Market Day in Columbia in November. Serena took the grand prize in the elementary school division of the marketplace competition.

The young entrepreneur started her business, called Serena’s Soaps & Scrubs, in the month before the contest with the help of weekly workshops for “kidpreneurs.”

The Biz Kidz workshop series, hosted by Le’Chic Academy Foundation in partnership with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, taught the students how to develop and grow their own businesses. Workshop session topics included brainstorming and goal setting, delivering a business pitch, preparing for interviews, developing a marketing plan and managing money.

The highlight of the sessions was a day spent in a television production studio. Girls learned how to use video cameras, switch boards and audio equipment. They also assumed the roles of host and interviewees and taped their own television show.

Le’Chic Academy Foundation is a nonprofit organization developed to inspire girls and boys ages 5 through 18 to be successful entrepreneurs. It motivates and teaches children and teenagers to lead confidently, think critically, be financially responsible and understand the value of teamwork.

After completing the workshops, the young business owners competed on Nov. 3, in the Shark Tank competition. Serena created Cotton Candy Color Block soap bars as her winning entry for the contest. Winners received a laptop computer, a custom designed website, business cards and business coaching sessions.

“I really enjoyed the experience,” said Serena. “I loved seeing all of the different businesses and products created by kids like me.”

Since the competition, she has been expanding her product line as she has been attending holiday bazaars and craft shows. For fall, she created a sweet apple pie scrub. For the holidays, she has made red peppermint bars and blue snowflakes. She also came up with an all natural line for a show at the Robinson Nature Center.

Serena plans to continue to grow her business. Her goal is to launch a website so that she can promote her products and reach more people. Be on the lookout for her to appear at local craft shows in the coming months. Serena’s Soaps and Scrubs will make great holiday gifts.

Amy Bejm Syversen, the band director at Dayton Oaks Elementary School is pleased to announce the band musicians of the month for December. Sarah Burns, Ifeanyi Ojiako, Kyra Tuite, Dash Arterburn, Emily Galgano, Sam Yarmus, James McGall, Alex Ball, Aaron Kim, Abhinav Rodda, Grace Edwards, Sia Saraiya, Charlotte Specht, Jonathan Krum, Colton Fansler, Caden Starcher, Josef Finn, William Fortune, Tanay Parikh and Jonathan Norwood have all been practicing hard and making Syversen happy. Keep up the good work.

I received an update from Shannen Johnson about Jump For Our Heroes, the jumper horse show which was held in November at Oak Spring Equestrian Indoor Arena. A fundraiser for wounded veterans, the show raised $10,013 for Operation Second Chance and $250 for the Maryland Patriot Guard.

Thanks to all the neighbors who attended to support the veterans while enjoying the horses and great music by the Richie Fields Band.

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