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Kim working on her business plan

Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving.
They make mistakes,
but they don't quit.

-  Conrad Hilton



Student Profile - Kim Latorre

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I’m a fan of E CITY because…

 …I think it’s a positive program for youth.”

During the 2003-2004 school year, Kim Latorre was  a junior at East Tech High School in Cleveland and winner of the E CITY business plan competition.  She heard about the E CITY after school program through a friend, and approached teacher Sylvia Randolph to ask if she could join in.  Kim had always dreamed of owning her own business and found that she was very curious about what the program might teach her. 

Kim at the E CITY graduation

Kim attentively listening in class

Before the 70-hour program had even concluded with its business plan competition, Kim had “Miss K’s Candy Thang” under way and was selling candy for a profit at her school and in her neighborhood.

"The E CITY program taught me to observe people’s lives and behavior and look for spaces where I could fill their needs.  I noticed many of my friends leaving school to buy candy at the

corner store.  They would come back 25 minutes later and get in trouble for being late to class.  I also studied their likes and dislikes and then knew that I could sell them the candy they wanted, at better prices, much more quickly, and save them from being in trouble at school.” 
Kim exercises her creative flair by packaging the candy in decorative bags.  It’s a touch that she says makes it more fun and more of a surprise for her customers.  “They know what kind of candy they’re getting, but they don’t know what the bag will look like.  Plus, the bags catch other people’s eye and help me make more sales.”

Kim's products for sale

Kim’s bigger dream is to own and operate a salon and barbershop.  She sees “Miss K’s Candy Thang” as a training ground for that vision.  “Scott Arthur at E CITY taught me about ‘KISS’ (“Keep it Simple, Silly”).  I decided to begin with a very small business idea and get bigger later.  E CITY teaches us to be leaders too, and I want to be a role model for younger kids.  One day they will look at my salon and remember that I started out with a little candy business.  Then they’ll know that they can do this, too.” 
Kim working on her business plan
Kim knows that the traits and discipline of an entrepreneur that she has absorbed through the E CITY program will have application in school and nearly anything she does.  “You don’t leave a job half done,” she says with conviction.  When asked what skills are necessary to be successful in business she cites among others: a willingness to be a risk-taker, discipline, confidence and perseverance. “I set short-term goals for my sales every day and I know I have to be persuasive and yet understanding in order to reach those goals.  The two most important characteristics I feel I must have as an entrepreneur are optimism and adaptability.”

Kim demonstrated all of those traits in January when she prepared an entry for a national business plan competition.  On top of school assignments, extracurricular activities and her job, Kim pushed herself to write, edit and edit again her business proposal.  She took several buses on cold winter nights to meet with E CITY staff.  She persevered through the frustrations of lost data and failed email.

Kim receiving her first place prize

The E CITY staff was glad to note the Kim has continued her interest in business and being an entrepreneur. One April 24, 2004 when E CITY hosted the Youth Conference  with Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Kim was one of the students who participated in workshops relating to being an entrepreneur.

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