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Local Fifth Graders Competed in “Shark Tank” Style Business Competition for UNLV Scholarships

Michael Crome, Las Vegas Raiders chief financial officer and a former Junior Achievement alum, is receiving Junior Achievement USA’s prestigious Gold Leadership Award.

The Feel At Home Tent team (Credit: Josh Line Photography)

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Earlier this month, Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada hosted its annual Shark Tank-style competition and luncheon at Allegiant Stadium. Fifth grade students from Fay Herron Elementary School competed for scholarships.

The first prize was awarded to the Feel At Home Tent team of Emanuel Macia, Daniella Olguin-Ramos, Giselle Salgado, Hanna Castaneda Diaz and Kevin Esteban, who will split the winner’s $9,000 UNLV scholarship. The product was developed to make camping easier and more comfortable for families. The tent comes with poles that automatically assemble, pillows, blankets, and air/heat. Extra compartments, such as a designated kids’ space, can be purchased to add to the main tent. The second and third team won $4,000 and $2,000 UNLV scholarships respectively.

Nearly 100 fifth graders went through six-week Junior Achievement “It’s My Business” entrepreneurial program guided by staff, teachers and volunteers from the business community. Three finalist teams presented at the Swimming With The Big Fish luncheon.

Swimming With The Big Fish luncheon 2023 (Credit: Josh Line Photography)

Judges for the competition finals were Sandra Douglass Morgan, Las Vegas Raiders president; Terry Shiery, Nevada State Bank president; and Dr. Keith E. Whitfield, UNLV president.

The nonprofit raised $275,262 at the luncheon. The event also recognized Michael Crome, Las Vegas Raiders chief financial officer and a former JA alum. He is receiving Junior Achievement USA’s prestigious Gold Leadership Award for his outstanding volunteer, advocacy and fundraising efforts for Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada. Crome is one of 11 honorees from more than 151,000 volunteers at JA chapters across the country. He will be honored with the other Gold Leadership recipients at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June.

L to R: M Jackson, J Kosakowski, J Jones Blackhurst, M Crome (Credit: Josh Line Photography)

Jan Jones Blackhurst, UNLV Black Fire Leadership Initiative executive director, Caesars Entertainment board of directors, and UNLV International Gaming Institute chief executive in residence, delivered the keynote speech.

“At Junior Achievement, we’re all about providing financial literacy, workforce development and entrepreneurship skills, skills our kids need to grow up as successful young adults,” said Michelle Jackson, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada. “Swimming With The Big Fish helps us showcase to the business community how we’re helping students develop critical thinking skills, and our It’s My Business program and what these Fay Herron fifth graders demonstrated was a great representation of this.”