Testimonial by Rockhurst Senior Ori Taylor:
Wow, where to begin? The MECA Challenge, if you hadn’t heard, was a college level event where students participated in a challenge. In the challenge, we were presented with a real world issue: “How can we retain Kansas City millennials and keep them from moving to other big cities?” Well, being that we were the only high school-aged team, we had to make up for some of our disadvantages. We quickly assigned a mentor, Don, who briefed us on the day ahead. We began by working with our group and brainstorming ideas revolving around our presented issue. We threw out literally hundreds of ideas. Some ideas we shot down. Others, we built upon. Finally, we had come up with an “interest-based social networking platform” that would allow Kansas City people to connect not only with each other, but with local events, restaurants, entertainment, and retail. It was fantastic. Our idea covered every side of the challenge. We were drawing KC people out from their homes while also promoting local businesses and events, ultimately improving the economy. It took the team about three hours to create the idea and throw it onto a PowerPoint. While my team created the slides, I (Ori) designed the business. I created a mockup of the website and how each feature and webpage would work. Together, we had created a business in a short three hours. Finally, when it came time to pitch, we were nervous. I was especially nervous. Although I’ve given pitches for my startup in front of dozens of people in the past, it rarely ever gets easier. However, as soon as Ei and I got onto the stage, we killed it. We quickly presented the slides that we had created to the judges who were absolutely blown away. Erik especially, the main judge, was incredibly impressed. Each judge was seriously astonished by how much a couple of high schoolers had accomplished. Although we didn’t take first, the experience was well worth it. I can speak for the others as well as Mr. Radosevic when I say this experience was one that none of us have really experienced before. It was truly something that should be offered to every student at Rockhurst, especially if they’re interested in business or problem solving. Finally, I’d like to give Mr. Radosevic a little shoutout for being one of the driving forces behind the is event. I know he enjoyed every second of it.