High school student advances in entrepreneurial competition

Meilyn Recker, chief executive officer of Rezcue, pitches her organization to a panel of investors during a competition for middle and high school students participating in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program in Grand Junction. Recker was selected to advance to the semifinals of the national completion. (Photo courtesy Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce)

A Grand Valley high school student who launched an organization to rescue puppies will advance in a national competition for young entrepreneurs.

Meilyn Recker, chief executive officer of Rezcue, was selected as the winner from among the students enrolled in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program in Grand Junction who pitched their ventures to a panel of investors.

Recker received $1,860 in funding for her startup and qualified to participate in the semifinals of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy competition scheduled for June 12 as a virtual event.

Coordinated by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy turns middle and high school students into the chief executive officers of startup ventures. Over the course of the program, students come up with new products and services, write business plans, pitch their ideas to investors and develop their brands. By the end of the program, they oversee fully functioning enterprises they can continue to operate.

Recker, a sophomore at Fruita Monument High School, said she’s been working with dogs since she was 8 years old. Her family recently raised a litter of puppies.

Rezcue rescues puppies on reservations and provides shelter, food and veterinary care until they’re sent to permanent homes.

In addition to Recker, eight other students received funding for their startups:

Miguel Ambriz Jr., an eighth grader at West Middle School, $1,334 for Armadillo Parts.

Charlotte Douglas, a sixth grader at Orchard Mesa Middle School, $575 for Pet’s Program.

Levi Fink, a sixth grader at Mesa Valley Community School, $662 for Youth Yardz.

Braeden Kassaw, a sixth grader at Redlands Middle School, $750 for Bravo Kilo Survival Kits.

Caydence Lusher, a freshman at Central High School, $850 for Better Days.

Nikolas Miller, a sixth grader  at Caprock Academy, $1,400 for QwikString.

Jace Mizushima, a sixth grader at Holy Family Catholic School, $2,000 for Bee Generous.

Julia Shively, a seventh grader at Caprock Academy, $320 for Jul’s Jewels.

The students will unveil their products and services at a trade show set for noon to 2 p.m. May 15 at Mesa Mall in Grand Junction.