High-school business owners named NFIB Young Entrepreneurs of the Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kelly Klass, (609) 713-4243 or Kelly.Klass@NFIB.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2016) – A high school graduate from Georgia with her own personal care product line, and another graduate from California who markets custom-designed Nike socks, were awarded scholarships for college today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
Lilly Sandler of Atlanta, Georgia, and Scott Voulgaris of Santa Barbara, California, were selected among five national finalists to receive NFIB’s top scholarship awards for student business owners.
NFIB’s 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year is Lily Sandler, founder of BLAMtastic ®. BLAMtastic is a personal-care product line made from all natural ingredients. Lily, her mother, and her sister began their business by cooking lip balm in their kitchen and selling it to neighbors and at school fairs. Lily and her family have grown their product line and now create baby care, natural skin care, and sun care. BLAMtastic ® can be found in some of the largest retailers in the country, including Walmart, Harris Teeter, Shop rite, and many more. Lilly also founded The BLAMtastic® Legacy Foundation, which offers entrepreneurial education and support to women and young entrepreneurs. Lily recently graduated from North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia. She hopes to attend Georgia Tech in the fall.
“Entrepreneurship is the engine that sustains our country,” said Lily Sandler. “Business owners need the support of organizations like NFIB to educate and advocate for current and future entrepreneurs in America. I am so grateful to be honored with the NFIB scholarship and to have had the opportunity to meet so many other remarkable entrepreneurs at this event.”
NFIB’s Dan Danner Leadership Award was presented to Scott Voulgaris who owns and operates FreshSwagg.com. Scott’s company produces, designs, and sells custom Nike Elite Basketball socks online to customers around the country and world. He is an avid basketball player and wanted to create socks that were just as lively as the sneakers that Nike created. He has been asked by several elite basketball teams and club programs from around the country to supply custom socks. Scott began his website FreshSwagg.com to raise money to fund research for hydrocephalus. Since 2012 when launching the site, Scott has surpassed $1.2 million in gross sales. He is a recent graduate of San Marcos Senior High in Santa Barbara California and plans to attend the University Of Notre Dame in September.
“I am so honored to have been awarded a scholarship by such an incredible organization,” said Scott Voulgaris. “Being a part of NFIB events this week has opened my eyes to the fact that there are thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners just like me all over the country. They care deeply about the country and small business’s role in making it better. I am proud to be among them.”
NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation established its scholarship program to raise awareness among the nation’s youth about the critical role of private enterprise and entrepreneurship. The foundation selected the top five nominees and today’s winners from a nationwide applicant pool of more than 600 students. Award recipients will use the scholarships to attend the university, college, community college, or career institute of their choice. This year VISA generously donated to the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation allowing the scholarship amounts to nearly double. Lily will receive a $25,000 scholarship and Scott will receive a $15,000 scholarship. The remaining three finalists will each receive a $10,000 scholarship. Ninety-five other high school seniors have received $2,000 scholarships to the schools of their choice.
“I could not be more excited to honor these accomplished young entrepreneurs,” said Molly Young, Director of NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation. “They truly possess the attributes of a successful entrepreneur and their hard work, spirit, and ambition make me hopeful for the next generation of entrepreneurs. NFIB is proud to congratulate this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes to support these students’ efforts and their pursuit of the American Dream.”
To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must be seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. They are required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. NFIB members around the country interviewed the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards.
All of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation scholarship awards are funded by donations from NFIB members and other businesses who support the entrepreneurial dream. NFIB thanks VISA for graciously sponsoring the awards luncheon and the 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at www.NFIB.com/YEF. The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.