A Hockaday student is headed to New York City this month to compete in the national Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Hannah Wahl, along with Woodrow Wilson’s Mary Holt, used the concepts learned in their Principles of Marketing, Business and Finance class at J.L. Long Middle School to create the concept for Brownie Bar.

Brownie Bar combines paleteros carts with a build-your-own brownie concept, where patrons can choose flavors and add toppings such as caramel, whipped cream and sprinkles.

Wahl and Holt took Andrew Molina’s business class this past year and created a business plan. At the end of the year, students presented them, and two were chosen to go to the regional Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) competition in the Ernst and Young building in Downtown Dallas. Molina says the class came up with a variety of ideas, from solar fans to cellphone apps, but the most successful business plans were the ones that were connected to students’ interests.

Mary Holt and Hannah Wahl (Photo courtesy of Sarah Wahl)

Holt’s passion for baking started at a young age, and Wahl’s math team skills helped round out the business plan.

“Mary and Hannah took something that was simple and ran with it,” Molina, says. “From the get go, they were going to be one of the strong contenders.”

Molina spoke about the legwork the students did. They called other bakeries and farmers markets to learn about pricing information, and it paid off. The two advanced from the regional NFTE competition last spring, winning $1,000, and will compete at the national event later this month. The girls will explain their business plan and give a 30-second elevator pitch as part of the competition.

Karen Ezell, the North Texas Director of NFTE, spoke to Fox 4 News about the way entrepreneurship helps give meaning to students’ core classes when they see math, presentation, and language skills put to use in a practical way. Holt and Wahl were featured in the story, too.

“We give the customer complete creative control, allowing them to choose from a selection of different flavors, spreads and toppings,” Holt said.

Vote for Brownie Bar or other business plans here. The winner will receive $2,500 towards their education or as a loan to get their business off the ground.

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