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Valeria Maldonado, Shaunna Humphries and Elizabeth Smith celebrate a $500 check from the Shoals Pitch competition.

RBHS students win cash prize at UNA competition

By Brandi Miller

For the FCT

Two Red Bay High School juniors are now $500 richer after winning a cash award at Shoals Pitch, hosted by the University of North Alabama School of Business, Shoals Economic Development Authority and the Shoals Chamber of Commerce.

The Shoals Idea Audition competition is similar to the popular TV show called Shark Tank. Area individuals give a pitch of an idea they would like to see marketed and then eventually produced. Students or individuals go into a room and are given three minutes to pitch their idea to a group of professional business leaders, who use a grading rubric to select the best ideas.

During this year’s competition, 31 individuals competed for cash prizes. Red Bay High students Valeria Malnado and Elizabeth Smith were the winners of a $500 marketing award.

“Their idea was based off of two RBHS teachers who had undergone breast surgery,” said HOSA sponsor Dr. Kay Hargett. “These ladies wore items that were very uncomfortable, and so the students came up with the idea to make a more feminine and user-friendly design for post-mastectomy patients.

“The students did an excellent job with marketing their product.”

Hargett noted the other displays for the marketing competition were from business people. She said for high school students to compete and win at this level against professional business people shows how much the students excelled in their presentation.

Three groups of students from RBHS competed against business individuals at the competition. Two of the three Red Bay High School groups have been invited back to participate in Lift Off Shoals competition

in February, where contestants will compete for $25,000 in prizes. Students in the February competition will pitch their idea and present a business plan to the judges.

“I was very proud of these students,” said Hargett. “Congratulations to this group of entrepreneur high school students. I look forward to seeing them competing in February.”

The other RBHS students who competed were Gage Brewer and Brooke Shotts.