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Enterprising family celebrates success

There has been cause for a double celebration in the Sorrell household recently.

Seventeen-year-old Amy Mae Sorrell was a member of the team who came second in the Regionals of the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme. Her mum, and UCOL Business Lecturer Cheralyn Sorrell who mentored three teams through the competition, was named a Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Teacher of the Year.

Amy Mae (Palmerston North Girls High) joined Lily Corlett-Brown (Dannevirke High School) and Louise Coneelly (Whanganui Collegiate), to form a company called Little Ease: just to make life a little easier.

“Everyone goes through puberty,” says Amy Mae. “We built our business around kits we designed that include products and advice to help teenagers get through that tricky time.”

Little Ease packs come in a range of four different kits, appealing to different age groups and genders. Blossom and Blossom plus are aimed at the female market. They include sanitary and beauty products and advice.

Teen males are not forgotten with Grow a Pair and Grow a Pair plus.

All the products were carefully researched, sourced and funded by the team. The Plus kits are designed specifically for over 16-year olds and have sexual health products and information. “The advice we included in the kits was written by teens, for teens,” says Lily.

The team presented their Little Ease ‘pitch’ to Young Enterprise judges CEDA CEO Linda Stewart, Grass Roots Media CE Chelsea Millar and Massey Business School’s Jeff Stangi.

Over 20 hours of rehearsal came down to five minutes on stage. “Even though we were quite nervous, we worked really hard to give our best pitch,” says Amy Mae. “It was really high energy.”

The Little Ease team are among 4000 students that have taken part in the Lion Foundation Enterprise Scheme this year, a programme that gives young people the opportunity to create and operate a business.

Lily says, “It was hard work, but we learned a lot about teamwork, negotiation, money management, and taking on feedback and advice.”

Both Amy Mae and Lily hope to study Business and Health Science respectively, at UCOL next year.

Cheralyn was delighted to be nominated for the Teacher of the Year award by the students who she mentored through the highly regarded one-year Young Enterprise programme. The three teams she guided, were part of the UCOL U-Skills Business Enterprise programme.

“I was blown away! It made me cry,” she says. “I didn’t even realise there was such an award.” Cheralyn says teaching is her passion and she loves seeing her students flourish. “It is so nice to be recognised for the work that is involved; not just the academic side, but the pastoral care and support given to get students into work or further study.”

Cheralyn has taught at UCOL Palmerston North campus for eleven years. “Business is my thing”, she says.

She has been involved in U-Skills lecturing in Office Administration and Business Enterprise and has finally realised a long-held ambition to get a team through to the YES Regional finals.


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