High School Seniors Cook Up Winning Business Plan


Pete Smiley, Secretary Fred Mondragon, Araña Schulke

Winners Pete Smiley and Araña Schulke with EDD Cabinet Secretary Fred Mondragon

Two seniors from East Mountain High School in Sandia Park won the high-school division of the fourth annual New Mexico Youth Entrepreneurship Network’s 2010 Youth Business Plan Competition with their plan to run a hot dog stand at their school to make up for its lack of a lunch program. In the summary of their business plan submitted for the competition, seniors Pete Smiley and Araña Schulke proposed to establish a hot dog stand called Pete’s Wieners to provide hot lunches to classmates who hadn’t packed a lunch and didn’t want to eat vending machine fare.

“Pete’s Wieners started out as a joke between two buddies looking to make a good grade in an economics class,” the partners wrote in their business plan. “The main goal is to supply EMHS students with a delicious, affordable lunch … that students would enjoy consuming.” Their plan included giving a portion of proceeds to the school’s music and athletic departments.

For their efforts, Smiley and Schulke won $800 and a trip to the Magic Wand Foundation’s Ultimate Life entrepreneurship camp at Disneyland in Florida.

The young entrepreneur competition, sponsored by members of the New Mexico Youth Entrepreneurship Network, took place October 14-15 in Albuquerque as part of the New Mexico Economic Development and Workforce Solutions departments’ entrepreneurs “Evolve Summit.” Ashley Lober of Albuquerque High School took second place ($600) for Fliptastic Tumbling; Zania Maria Iron-Cloud Robinson of Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque came in third ($500) for Grandmama’s Soul Food Spaghetti; Elias Pacheco of The Masters Program in Santa Fe took fourth place ($300) for Elias Pacheco Art & Design; and John Santistevan Jr. of Deming High School won honorable mention ($150) for Bo’s Hitch Covers.

Two students tied for first place (each receiving $450) in the middle school division: Tate Eppler of Yucca Junior High in Clovis for Tatey Bear Lollipops and Austin Lober of Sierra Adentro Charter School in Albuquerque for Yard Sale Maniac.

NMYEN picked 15 of the 35 business plans submitted by charter school, middle school and high school teams and individual students across the state for the Albuquerque competition. The 27 students presented their plans to five judges:  Ron Martinez from the Center for the Education and Study of Diverse Populations (CESDP) at New Mexico Highlands University; Juan Casimiro from the Magic Wand Foundation in Miami; Jeff Waller from Excent in Atlanta, Georgia; and Brian Mirabal and Ed Burckle of the Regional Development Corporation in Santa Fe. Award presenters were John Woolsey, state director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Fred Mondragon, secretary of the state Economic Development Department.

NMYEN is a coalition of more than 40 organizations that advocate youth entrepreneurship education.  The competition was sponsored by NMYEN members Engaging Latino Communities for Education, the state Economic Development Department, New Mexico Small Business Development Centers, NMSU Arrowhead Center and the Regional Development Corporation.

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2 thoughts on “High School Seniors Cook Up Winning Business Plan

  1. Andreea Popa


    I am interested in opening a hot dog business and I would really appreciate if you provided me a way of contacting the two seniors from East Mountain High School that won the competition.

    Thank you very much,
    Andreea P.

  2. financenm

    Your request has been passed on to the event organizers at NMYEN, who will get in touch with the two youth entrepreneurs. Thanks for your interest.