Local students participate in FedEx Junior Business Challenge qualifier at THE PLAYERS

‘Tropical Wave’ healthy food truck concept selected to advance


Junior Achievement of North Florida students participated in the second annual FedEx Junior Business Challenge qualifying event at THE PLAYERS Championship on Wednesday, May 9, to determine who would advance to the finals in Atlanta for a chance to win a $75,000 donation to their local chapter. “Tropical Wave” by Rosa Santos, a healthy food truck concept providing nutritious fruit snack alternatives, was selected to advance.

The panel of judges who evaluated each team's business pitch featured 2014 FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel, 2016 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, seven-time Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller and CEO/Lead Designer of In Blue Handmade Mary Lynn Schroeder. Todd Lewis of the Golf Channel hosted this year’s event. 

Santos, the only participant to present her business concept alone, said she was shocked that she won.

"I was like, 'Am I third place, am I second, am I first?'” Santos said to the media. “Nothing goes through my mind, the only word I can say is 'Wow’ … it’s just me and the strength of God. It's a blessing."

Santos credited God and her mother for giving her the strength to present the concept alone and spend long hours and sleepless lights building a business plan.

Other participants included “Logical Luxuries” — a chap stick ring concept — “Hygiene for Everyone,” “The Brothers Business” and “Let's Rec” — an app designed to connect users to others looking for outdoor recreational activities.

The FedEx Junior Business Challenge is part of the FedEx Cares global giving initiative, a program by the corporation aimed at investing $200 million in over 200 global communities around the world by 2020. Since 1996, FedEx has donated more than $14 million to JA Worldwide in support of young entrepreneurs and small businesses.

JA Worldwide is one of the largest global non-governmental organizations dedicated to addressing the fundamental social and economic challenges faced by young people through education and empowerment. With more than 100 member-countries, the JA Worldwide network features 470,000 volunteers and mentors. For more information on the nonprofit, visit www.JAWorldwide.org.