On Nov. 22, in the ballroom of the Chesterfield DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, a record number of local politicians, successful business leaders and figureheads gathered for Progress 64 West’s annual Excellence in Community Development Awards Banquet.
Two of those honored represent the changing scape of business in the St. Louis area. They also happen to high school seniors.
Kaloeb R. Salter from Parkway North High and Logan Paul from Marquette High received Progress 64 West’s Louis S. Sachs Scholarships, totaling $7,500.“This is the first scholarship I’ve ever received, and it’s definitely going to help me with going into college,” Paul said. “It’s very humbling to be recognized a room filled with such powerful and influential figures.”
To be eligible, applicants submitted an executive summary of a business plan, which included in-depth entrepreneurial research, a description of the business that described its nature, mission, objectives, philosophy, values and contribution to the community. Those plans were reviewed by a selection committee made up of business leaders and Progress 64 West members.
Salter submitted a plan for B Cubed Media, a business he has owned since age 14 that provides website design services for small businesses without hefty agency fees.“I essentially wrote the business plan for the company that I already own,” Salter said. “It basically helps businesses finance their own business and website.”
Salter started his company while living in Mississippi. His entrepreneurial interest was piqued after he began selling computer parts online with his father at age 10. He moved to St. Louis in the past year and is looking to further his entrepreneurial experience in college. He said he hopes to attend the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he has up to 45 credit hours toward his bachelor degree thanks to previous experience. His goal is to achieve his doctorate in business administration by age 24.
“To get this scholarship to go to college, I can continue to study my passion, which is entrepreneurship,” Salter said.
Salter also participated in Parkway’s Spark! program, an experience-based program that helps students collaborate with business partners, community service providers and educational leaders to design and develop mutually beneficial learning experiences, assist students with market analysis, and teach business techniques and sales and marketing strategies.
“It really helped open my eyes to all the entrepreneurial possibilities out there,” Salter said.
Paul’s business summary was for United Threads, a proposed company that would optimize tech-related, fashionable streetwear and take advantage of brand name recognition to encourage purchases, 25 percent of which would go toward humanitarian efforts.
“These street-savvy brands tend to be a little exclusive and expensive anyway, so even if you only have 25 percent of those purchases going toward these efforts, that’s still a lot of money,” Paul said.
According to Paul, the idea was inspired partially by recently Hurricane Harvey, which devastated areas in South America and the Houston metropolitan area earlier this year.
Paul’s goal is to incorporate business into his passion for psychology and eventually pursue a medical degree that would allow him to help make medicine more accessible.
“I’d love to take a medicine I helped create and use my business experience to help get it out there,” Paul said.
Progress 64 West is a not-for-profit civic organization that promotes progress and commercial growth in St. Louis and St. Charles counties. The organization annually awards its Louis S. Sachs Scholarships to high school seniors, who attend school along the Interstate 64 corridor.
Louis S. Sachs was a local visionary and entrepreneur, and the scholarship is dedicated toward students with entrepreneurial ambitions. This year’s scholarship sponsors include American Direct Marketing Resources LLC, Doster Ullom & Boyle LLC and Stinson Leonard Street.