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Student of the Month: Luis Villalba

Imagine it: A delicious packet of savory, corn-husk wrapped heaven, delivered right to your doorstep. For many people, it sounds like a dream. Luis Villalba made it a reality. 

Tasked with developing a business idea for his Youth Entrepreneurs class at Trimble Tech High School in Fort Worth, Texas, Luis settled on something he’d be willing to pay for – his mom’s tamales.  

With a push from his YE educator, Coach OJ, and support from a classmate, Tech’s Tamales debuted at YE’s Market Day to roaring acclaim. Soon, Luis was delivering orders of pork and chicken tamales as fast as his mom could make them. Today, Luis has turned his grandmother’s recipe into a thriving family business. 

We chatted with Luis and Coach OJ to get the details on his passion-driven mindset. 

Luis: It’s all been so exciting but kind of overwhelming. We just thought we’d sell 20 dozen orders at Market Day, but in three weeks, we had made 150 dozen! It was a lot of work for us and a lot of work for my mom. 

Coach OJ: Luis and his family are very hard-working, and he wants to be successful for them. Everything he does is for other people. At Market Day, he was always looking for responses, asking for feedback so he could get better. 

Luis: My business partner and I really started advertising two weeks before the event, and we included the menu on the posters. But I think we owe our success to the way we treat our customers. We deliver the tamales to their houses, and we are always polite. That’s why they keep coming back.

Coach OJ: A student like Luis challenges me personally. I mean, he had his Market Day idea ready a month ahead of time, so I had to think of next steps.I love teaching YE. It’s a journey for me as an educator, and it’s a journey for the students.

Luis: This class has broadened my expectations for myself. I have now set goals to go to college and major in business. It gives me the work ethic to keep working toward what I want. 

Congratulations to Luis on being selected as our Student of the Month and best of luck to Tech’s Tamales! We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you and your family. 
Know a stellar YE student like Luis who should win this award? Place your nomination. Read more about previous Student of the Month winners.