Balloon entrepreneur Amber Liggett wins national award
May 31, 2012
Amber Liggett with a few of her self-taught balloon creations
The top national award for youth entrepreneurship from Black Enterprise, a business media company dedicated to business success for African-Americans, is the latest entrepreneurial award won by Amber Liggett, 16, a sophomore at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School.
The Bridgewater, Pa., teen operates Amber's Amazing Animal Balloons, a business she started at age 9 after receiving a balloon kit as a gift. A self-taught balloon artist, she has built up a repertoire of more than 100 animals, shapes and designs.
She earned more than $5,500 last year making balloon creations at events ranging from birthday parties to the First Night Pittsburgh New Year's celebration and Ernst & Young's annual gala.
Amber was selected from a pool of national nominees for the 2012 Teenpreneur Award from Black Enterprises. The honor was announced on May 24 at the Chicago Hilton Hotel during the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo. She was one of three national finalists invited to attend the conference.
The Teenpreneur Award "recognizes entrepreneurs, age 19 or under, committed to the tradition of black business achievement."
In addition to balloon creations, Amber offers storytelling, face painting, spin art, sand art, cotton candy and custom balloon decorations. She is learning magic and is a member of the Mystic Magicians of Beaver Valley.
A voice major at Lincoln Park, Amber's talents include dance and musical theatre. She was one of six students selected to perform vocals and choreography for the Red Hot R&B Revue show at Lincoln Park.
Amber has focused on music and business, but also is interested in meteorology as a possible career. She won a competitive scholarship to attend a two-week Careers Weather Camp conducted by the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences this summer, July 8-21, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
In 2011 she won a $2,000 grant for best business plan and presentation at the Pittsburgh regional George W. Tippins Business Plan Competition. Her mother said that money is "venture capital" for helping start a business that will generate revenue by the time she needs money for college. "Her goal is a million-dollar business," said Mrs. Liggett.
Other awards and recognitions received recently by this enterprising young woman include:
-2012 Rising Star Award from the Beaver County Women's Conference.
-2011 Young Entrepreneur Award from the prestigious accounting firm of Ernst & Young. Amber also created the large, elaborate balloon decorations for the company's annual gala.
-Youth presenter at the 29th Annual National Entrepreneurship Education Forum in Cincinnati.
-The first-ever 2011 Youth Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from The Beaver County Foundation.
-Appearance Feb. 29 on PBS television in an episode of "What's in the Books?" The segment was taped by a BizKid$ crew and Executive Producer Jim McKenna from Seattle, Wash
-.2011 Global Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Pittsburgh region, conferred at the Dare to Dream Gala in New York City.
-2010 Entrepreneuring Youth's Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.
-2009 Girls Going Places Scholarship, one of 15 awarded nationally.
At Beaver County Women's Conference
Making balloon animals at an event.
Performing in the "Red Hot R&B Revue"
About Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School
The Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School (www.lppacs.org) is a Pennsylvania public school providing a state-approved academic program and pre-professional training for grades 7-12 in music, theater, dance, creative writing, health science arts and media arts. The school enrolls 550 students from 58 surrounding school districts.
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