Slam Dunk in Silicon Harbor Leads Young Entrepreneur to Silicon Valley

Dekeiya Cohen from West Ashley High School is a winner on and off the court. She scored big at the YEScarolina 3rd Annual Mark Motley Foundation State Business Plan Competition with the coveted first place prize of $3,000. She and second place winner, Jesse Horine of Fort Mill High School, will make the trip to compete in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s National Challenge, October 9th in Silicon Valley. Dekeiya, a basketball aficionado herself, was recently named SC 4A Player of the Year and currently is on a full basketball scholarship to Baylor University. Cohen’s business, The Catching Prodigy, was formed from her passion for basketball that offers an affordable, yet valuable and simple training apparatus used to improve catching.


Jesse Horine reeled in $2,000 for his business, SouthernFly, a brand dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts, specifically anglers and fly fishermen. His brand would produce a Clouser Minnow pattern fly for fishing in addition to branded apparel and accessories. His unique logo and depth of knowledge in fly fishing hooked the panel of judges, landing him in second place of the competition.

Third place, also from Fort Mill High School, Jeremy LaPointe energized the panel of judges with his home-made energy bar, OnPointe Energy, taking home $1,000. Runners up included Paola Macias & Claudia Soto with Two Beans, and Riley Steward with Riley 2 the Rescue, of Charleston Collegiate; and Jasmine Godbolt with The Village, of SummervilleHigh School. Preliminary round competitors included students from James IslandCharterFort Dorchester High SchoolCrestwood HighCrescent High, & Spring Hill High School.

The opportunity alone for our students to compete in the 2014 NFTE National Challenge in Silicon Valley is a slam dunk. These two YEScarolina students are among the top forty young entrepreneurs in the country that will go head to head for the chance to win $35,000 in cash and prizes.

“Teaching entrepreneurship is more than teaching concepts; it’s providing the opportunity to teach life skills allowing students to make their business dreams a reality! I am so proud of Jesse and Jeremy for their drive and dedication of excellence. I am especially grateful to Jimmy Bailey and YEScarolina for their commitment to provide exceptional support and resources to the entrepreneurship teachers and students in South Carolina.” – Jennifer Molnar, Fort Mill High School, Entrepreneurship Teacher.