Girl, 11, sells shells, snags biz-ed prize

Maia Drugmand, who just turned 11, has a big heart and a keen business sense.

She recently won a business competition for her nonprofit organization, Turtles4tots, which sells turtles and crabs she makes out of shells to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The competition is run by the Young American Center for Financial Education in Denver. The center scours Colorado for young entrepreneurs from ages 6 to 21. A panel of business, education and entrepreneur judges select one winner and two finalists for three age categories. Maia, a student at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, won in the 6 to 11 age group.

Winners, honored Sept. 6, received $1,000 and will be paired with a mentor — a business person to whom they will look for advice and guidance. Maia will be mentored by Nancy Phillips, co-founder of Viawest Inc.

So far, Turtles4tots has raised more than $7,000 and sponsored a little girl’s wish. She is working on funding a second wish, said Maia’s father, Jeff Drugmand, who is an owner and partner of Colorado Seamless Gutters Inc. in Lafayette.

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