Sixth graders Macey Miesel and Eden Reese were among the first place winners of the ESTEAM Pitch Series, an entrepreneur contest open to local middle- and high-school students in Appalachia.

By Charlotte Underwood   

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Two Jacksboro Middle schoolers placed first in the ESTEAM Pitch Series entrepreneur contest, winning $500 each. Sixth graders Macey Miesel and Eden Reese created their business idea Made-N-Memories to pitch to judges in a multi-county and state competition open to middle school and high school students. Erica Simpson, sixth grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, was their sponsor for the contest. 

Their business takes memorial items such as sports tickets and preserves them artistically in colorful resin settings to become special keepsakes. The young ladies said they combined their first names to come up with their business title Made-N-Memories. 

Macey Miesel and Eden Reese won first place in the ESTEAM Pitch Series entrepreneur contest with their business Made-N-Memories. These are some of their products that take items and turn them into keepsake memories.

The two were among the youngest winners, having competed against high schoolers as well as other middle schools. In all, 28 schools across 19 Appalachian counties participated. A total of 156 students competed in Round One with a 90-second “pitch” on their business/product. Business plans also had to be provided. Only 42 teams advanced to the second round.

Jacksboro Middle School ELA teacher Erica Simpson sponsored Eden Reese and Macey Miesel in the ESTEAM Pitch Series entrepreneur contest. Both Macey and Eden won $500 each, as well as $500 for school supplies for Ms. Simpson’s class.

After making it into round two, the pair had to do a five-minute virtual live pitch to judges, which was followed by a three-minute question and answer session. 

Both girls said they had enjoyed the project and the opportunities it had provided. The contest was brought to the area through a partnership between EntreEd and six regional partners across four states. Roane State Community College is the regional partner who sponsored the program in Tennessee. The contest resulted from an initiative of The National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education’s (EntreEd) Fostering Self ESTEAM in Appalachia’s Emerging Workforce project and is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. 

Macey Miesel and Eden Reese won first place in an entrepreneur contest for their business Made-N-Memories. They are pictured here with family. From left to right, Beth Huckaby, Eden Reese, Jaden Miesel, Macey Miesel and Valerie Miesel.

Simpson said she was “very proud of all the hard work Eden and Macey had done.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/12/2021-6AM)