Partners With a Plan

UNMH Connected Academy Students Win National BizKid$ Entrepreneurial Award

Two students from The University of New Mexico Mimbres School Connected Academy have won a national entrepreneurial award for designing a cake business with a mission. The pair, who are undergoing long-term treatment at the school, located in UNM Hospital, won second place in the national BizKid$ Showcase competition with their C Squared Cakes company.

BizKid$is a credit union-funded and branded financial education program for young adults, championed by the National Credit Union Foundation. Biz Kid$ ignites a passion for students to invest in their financial futures through lessons in entrepreneurship, money, managing finances and more. Biz Kid$ Business Plan Competitions are a unique way for students to learn the ins and outs of business planning and put ideas into action.

Casey Harrison and Camdon Farmer from the UNMH Connected Academy created C Squared Cakes as a cake business plan with a mission. For each cake purchased, C Squared Cakes donates a cake to UNM Hospital to bring joy to a child who may be there during a special occasion.

Over the past few months, more than 100 students participated in the first-ever national Biz Kid$ Showcase, presented in partnership with the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, the RMJ Foundation, the Illinois Credit Union Foundation and the Credit Union Association of New Mexico.

The Biz Kid$ Showcase allowed creativity to continue in a virtual world. Participants completed learning modules focused on creating a business plan, building a brand and setting a business up for future success. Each participant or team submitted both a business plan and a final showcase project displaying all of their hard work. Judges from each partner state scored final showcase projects on branding, uniqueness, need, target market and overall presentation.

After winning first place at the state level in New Mexico, the winning final showcase projects from each state were reviewed again by a panel of judges on the national level. The students won $500 from the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, as well as $750 for their second-place win in the national competition. The first-place award was given to GradGenie, created by Yuktha Senthil, a student at Westview High School/Poway Unified School District in San Diego, Calif.

“Camdon and Casey are amazing and caring students,” said Monica Garcia-Roach, Lead Special Educator at the UNM Mimbres School Connected Academy. “Their business plan reflects those attributes, because if a cake is purchased, they would donate a cake to a pediatric patient in the hospital on their birthday or holiday because they know what it is like to be hospitalized on one of those special occasions.”



Camdon and Casey are amazing and caring students. Their business plan reflects those attributes

β€” Monica Garcia-Roach, Lead Special Educator, UNM Mimbres School Connected Academy

Amy Vigil, executive director of the New Mexico Credit Union Education Foundation, said, “Camdon and Casey baked all the right ingredients into their business plan. We’re proud to have partnered with UNMH and to support this amazing school and its very creative students.”

The Connected Academy is funded through a 10-year, $800,000 commitment by New Mexico’s credit unions. The first student was enrolled in August 2020 and today there are 19 students enrolled from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Students receive help with their homework when they are in the hospital or in infusion or dialysis. Students attend school daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. if they live nearby and have the ability to work from home, as the curriculum is delivered online. 

More than 80 patients and siblings from eight different counties in New Mexico have participated in the program. Enrolled students have completed more than 3,000 assignments/activities for their classes.

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