East High, Maize South seniors win WSU entrepreneurship scholarships

Katie Deutsch goes to yard sales with her mother – and sells her finds on eBay.

Everett Lacy doesn’t just enjoy hanging out at downtown’s Mead’s Corner coffeehouse, he is trying to figure out how to reproduce it.

That’s the entrepreneurial spirit.

You can’t teach it, but you can teach somebody with it how to start a business.

And now they’ll have the chance. Deutsch, a senior at East High, and Lacy, a senior at Maize South, each won $20,000 Professor Fran Jabara Scholarships in Entrepreneurship to Wichita State University. The awards were announced at a ceremony Tuesday.

Both students said they were deeply honored and excited to have won.

WSU President John Bardo, who seeks to better use the university’s brain power to drive the local economy, said Deutsch, Lacy and others like them are crucial to the community.

New companies are the sole reason for overall job growth, he said.

“It will be the work that you do here that will make a difference,” he told the two winners.

Jabara, for whom the scholarships is named, attended the ceremony. He said meeting the bright, eager, motivated high school seniors makes the annual competition one of his favorite things.

“They were all good,” he said.

A former professor at WSU and longtime venture capitalist, Jabara has mentored entrepreneurs for decades.

Deutsch is the daughter of Steven and Cindy Deutsch.

Cindy Deutsch said her daughter has always been independent and business minded. She developed a baby-sitting business in the seventh grade, printing her own posters, putting them around the neighborhood and taking a first-aid class to boost her marketability.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, as well as the Wichita Mayor’s Youth Council and DECA, an international association of marketing students.

Katie Deutsch said she doesn’t have a particular business in mind, yet.

“But I’m passionate about recycling and trying to figure how to turn waste into an eco-friendly business,” she said.

Lacy is the son of Chad and Jessica Lacy. He plans to major in entrepreneurship, with a minor in journalism at WSU.

Chad Lacy said his son made his interest in business pretty plain over the years.

“Really, he’s wanted to start his own business as long as I can remember, although what it is changes,” he said.

At the moment, it’s a coffeehouse, but Everett said he’s open to changing his mind.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and has lettered academically and in band and cross country. He is also a member of his church’s tech team and works as a cashier at Chick-Fil-A.

“I’ve learned a lot about customer service,” he said of his fast-food experience.

The Jabara scholarship was established in 1998. To compete, students must have at least a 3.5 grade point average, score 24 on the ACT, and plan to major in entrepreneurship.