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Puerto Rican teen wins Lemonade Day ’20 national youth entrepreneur of the year title

Lemonade Day, a youth entrepreneurship program, has named Danyarelie Ruiz as the 2020 National Youth Entrepreneur of the Year. She is the first Latina and Puerto Rican to win this award since Lemonade Day was founded in 2007, organizers said.

Thirteen-year-old Ruiz, from the town of San Lorenzo, planned and started her own lemonade business — Lemonade by DM (Dream More) — by registering in the Lemonade Day program as a summer pastime.

Through this process, Ruiz learned to set goals, create her product and market it to run a successful business. She also learned to spend some, save some and share some of her profits with a cause that matters to her.

“Lemonade Day is empowering the youth of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. The program inspires kids to go beyond the status quo. [Ruiz] is an excellent model of youth entrepreneurship. She’s dreaming big and making a difference in her community. We can’t wait to see what [Ruiz] achieves next,” said Charlie Hamilton, Lemonade Day national board president.

Ruiz has invested her earnings in computer equipment for her virtual education and has opened a bank account to save for sports-related travel. She also shared some of her profits to donate athletic equipment to a local nonprofit foster home, Hogar Casa de Todos, in the town of Juncos.

“This award is important because after a lot of effort, I can say that I achieved more than I had planned. I learned that sometimes you have to focus on small goals and enjoy each one of them, but the most important thing is to not give up,” said Ruiz.

“Representing Puerto Rico is like a dream and knowing that I am the first Latina to achieve this award is very exciting and motivates me to continue working and tell others that it is possible to reach your goals,” she said.

Ruiz opened her business in the midst of a pandemic, which is risky. But she adjusted her plan and adapted to the circumstances, using social media to reach her clients. She delivered her regular and strawberry lemonades using her bike, by car with her parents, or through take out.

Ruiz also obtained a permit to set up her stand next to a local food truck known as Pide que Hay, so she could sell her products alongside. Her command of social media coupled with the use of multiple points of sale helped her exceed her initial profit goals, organizers said.

The teenager is one of nearly 1,500 young Puerto Ricans who have registered for the Lemonade Day program since it started in Puerto Rico last year. The program is free for participants.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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