Written By: Amir Brady
Technology and the internet enable our youth to explore ventures that some think only adults could accomplish like starting a business. Ariane Santivanez, David Granda, Ricky Angelone and Matias Urcuyo are all seniors that have taken leaps and bounds with how the businesses they have started are growing and developing.
Santivanez started Amorperu at the age of 15 during her sophomore year when she saw a demand for the type of clothing made by artisans in her family’s native country of Peru. She found that items like elephant pants and other accessories like scrunchies and make up bags were being sought out by students daily, so she decided to bring some along with her whenever she took a trip to Peru. It started small, with selling the pants to a few friends, but soon business was booming since word spread that she was selling artisanal Peruvian clothing. Arianne does not do it alone, though, since so many people are interested her family also helps her out. Whenever they find themselves coming to Miami, they bring clothing from the artisanal markets for her to sell. Arianne’s profits do not only go back to her, she feels that it is only right that she gives back to her local community. “Out of every article of clothing that I sell, I give a percentage back to the kids in Peru that cannot afford certain luxuries like new clothes that we can get whenever,” Santivanez said.
Granda was a 14-year-old freshman when he decided to start Aquarius, a now four-year-old company that specializes in making autonomous underwater robotic vehicles for research purposes. He decided to start this business because he saw that there was a need for more accessible underwater research vessels that will not break the bank. The inspiration for Aquarius was the movie Spare Parts which was about a team of Mexican immigrants who beat the odds by building an underwater vehicle to win a nationwide robotics competition. David built his first prototype during his freshman year and has improved on it until now where as a senior he has brought it to the market with the help of engineering teacher Allan Miller. He is also being featured during the 2019 Key Biscayne Children’s Business Fair. “I love doing this because I think we as humans need to narrow the gap between what we do and don’t know about the ocean” Granda said.
Angelone and Urcuyo along with a host of 24 other students started a non-profit company called Miami Tutoring based in Key Biscayne which provides tutoring services to underprivileged kids. Ricky and Matias were 16 when they decided to bring a few kids together at Key Biscayne Village Hall and give free tutoring to kids that could not really afford it. When word got out, they decided to make a website to promote the tutoring and got a lot of sign ups. From there, they started an outreach platform that would accept donations to pay for gas needed to go out of Key Biscayne to tutor and to recruit more tutors to help the cause. “We wanted to help bring community together while giving high schoolers a chance to help so we thought the perfect way for people of our age to leave our mark is to tutor others,” Angelone and Urcuyo.