This Lincoln School Junior student has been characterized for her perseverance, prominence in different curricular activities, her excellent academic grades, her leadership, but especially for that passion reflected in her eyes when she is working on achieving her goals.
“Fresquiticos” is a clear example of this. This Project is born as a result of a course she is taking at Lincoln School: Personal Project, taught by Mr. Randall Torres. In this course, students have to create and run their own business during six months. It is at this point when this student had the vision of accomplishing one of her greatest dreams, starting her own business.
This young lady used her love for sodas as an incentive to create a beverage with natural ingredients but with the consistency of a soda. To make it even more original and catchy, Nicole decided to create this beverage using Costa Rican flavors: mango, strawberry-blackberry, lemon-tangerine, pineapple, soursop, and passion fruit. The product also aims at changing the perspective of the negative effects of sodas and developing the same concept but with a healthy focus and, in this way help fight obesity problems, illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems. The main ingredient of the beverage is agave nectar, replacing the high amount of sugars normally included in a soda. The agave nectar has a lower glycemic value compared with sugar.
Fresquiticos obtained the highest grade in the course and it also proved to be a success thanks to the great acceptance among the consumers present during various fairs, including the UCR entrepreneurship fair and even receiving economic offers to take this product to the Costa Rican market. In this context, Nicole has decided to take the Project to the next stage and keep fighting for her dream.
During this process, Nicole faced her first obstacle: lack of financial means to create her own company. It is at this point when she found out that there is a contest for high school students called Diamond Challenge, in which the best business plan will win $10,000 to be able to start a business. One of the requisites is for the participating groups to be of two or more members. That is when Nicole decided to ally with one of her friends, Diego Uribe, from Panamerican School. Investigating more about the contest, both students decided that this project should be more than the launching of a product, and they decided they wanted to generate a model that will have a social impact through the business.
The purpose of the project is to positively impact the community of Fraijanes de Alajuela, through a financial circular model in which the members of the community will benefit with marketing and the generating of employment. The objective is also to cooperate with a school in Guachipelín, Escazú, by teaching art, soccer, and dance once a month so that children and adolescents can have access to extracurricular activities and keep them away from the social risks they face every day. Fresquiticos also protects the environment. The beverages containers are made of glass and there is also a recycling campaign in which for every six empty bottles returned, the person will receive one free beverage in exchange.
After a long and highly competitive path, Fresquiticos ranked in the Top 10 of the Diamond Challenge, in which Nicole and Diego competed with more than 1,000 students from 22 countries all over the world. This step has increased the desire of these youngsters to conquer the world.
Finally, Nicole and Diego traveled last April 11 to the University of Delaware, after classifying as finalists with three other teams. During their stay at Delaware, they were trained on different topics to develop their future business in the best possible way.
Nicole and Diego presented their Project to a jury and obtained the second place of the Diamond Challenge, and received $6,500 as an award.
Among several of the lessons learned by Nicole from this experience, the main one is to never let a good experience go by. She considers that youngsters are exposed every day to positive experiences and great opportunities which are regularly not seen as such; nevertheless, the way in which she sees things now has changed a lot.
“Everything is an opportunity, any person you meet, an email that you receive, everything is an opportunity to succeed and go farther than you thought. Anyone can be where we are now. It is time to keep making Costa Rica visible under the radar” says Nicole.
Nicole invites youngsters to find their real passion, to discover their potential and to go out and know the world of opportunities that presently exists.
Kids, you are a national pride, do not let anything or anyone stop you!