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CSU-Pueblo Student Wins 2006 Pueblo Apprentice Title, $10,000 Scholarship

A business major in the Hasan School of Business at Colorado State University – Pueblo will earn a $10,000 scholarship to CSU-Pueblo as winner of the 2006 Pueblo Apprentice competition. Co-sponsors for the event were Little Caesar’s, The Pueblo Downtown Association, Castle Investment, The City of Pueblo, and the CSU-Pueblo Students in Free Enterprise team.

Andrew Baca emerged from among 75 entrants as the 2006 Pueblo Apprentice in a contest that began 14 weeks ago. In addition to the title of “2006 Pueblo Apprentice,” Baca earned a $10,000 scholarship to CSU-Pueblo. To win the contest, Baca had to develop a business idea and operate the business for 14 weeks. Baca’s project to offer grounds cleaning services to landlords when tenants moved out resulted in a submission of more than $600 at the end of the competition.

CSU-Pueblo President Joseph Garcia presented Baca with the award and a symbolic check at a ceremony on Dec. 14 at the Pueblo Convention Center, which featured inspirational messages from Dave Feamster, owner of the Pueblo area Little Caesar’s franchise, and Pueblo City Councilman Randy Thurston. Other winners of prizes in the contest were Greg Wakefield, 1st place ($500), Amber Arline, 2nd place ($300), and a four-way tie for 3rd place between individual contestant Sylvie Koncilja ($100) and the teams of Crystal Santistevan and Guiliana Santistevan ($100), Christine Pacheco and Constance Quintero ($100), and Michael Serracino, Cajun Duewiger and Gage Duewiger ($100).

The 2006 Pueblo Apprentice Contest is the collaborative brainchild of CSU-Pueblo Management Professor Mike Wakefield and the Sean McCarthy, President of Castle Investment. These two were also the driving force behind planning last year’s successful Pueblo Apprentice, in which CSU-Pueblo Student Rhea Santangelo won the top prize, an apprenticeship with local real-estate developer Louie Carleo, valued at $10,000.

Students in this year’s event were provided $20 in seed money by the Pueblo Downtown Association with the instruction of starting and running any type of legal and ethical business. The goal given the students was to double their money every four weeks and to submit their earnings at the end of the 14-week contest along with financial reports and a commentary about their business. More than 20 participants returned money, with 10 business making a profit and six of those generating between a 400 and 850 percent return on their investments.

CSU-Pueblo SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) students offered advice about generating business ideas and instruction on how to prepare financial statements in the first few weeks of the event. McCarthy and Wakefield agreed that this year’s competition was much
more difficult than last year’s, because students not only had to develop an idea, but they had to put the idea into action and sustain their efforts.

“It does require more effort, but I believe that the students learned far more in the process this year than last year,” said Wakefield.

Feamster and Thurston interviewed the student finalists, asking them questions about how they got ideas for their business and what they learned by running a business. Feamster and Thurston praised the students, calling them “winners” and the “business leaders of tomorrow.”

Wakefield and McCarthy called the contest a “truly collaborative event that is a win-win for Pueblo.” The students gain valuable first hand business knowledge, and the business community receives the benefit of young people engaging in business and learning the skills needed to become valuable contributing members of the business community.


CSU-President Joseph Garcia presents plaque and game to 2006 Pueblo Apprentice winner Andrew Baca.

Pueblo Apprentice Contestants and sponsors. Back row, left-right: Michael Wakefield, management professor, CSU-Pueblo, Joseph Garcia, president, CSU-Pueblo, Randy Thurston, City of Pueblo City Council, Christine Pacheco, Constance Quintero, Crystal Santistevan, and Dave Feamster, Owner, Little Caesar’s. Middle row, left-right: Greg Wakefield, Michael Serracino, Cajun Duewiger, Gage Duewiger, Sylvie Koncilja, Amber Arline, and Guiliana Santistevan. Front, kneeling, Sean McCarthy, president, Castle Investment, and Andrew Baca, 2006 Pueblo Apprentice winner.







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