Stand Up

Local teen wins national young entrepreneur competition

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Kayla Abramowitz is a rising eighth grader at Duncan Middle School. She is the founder of a company that donates DVDs, books and video games to hospitals around the country called Kayla Cares 4 Kids.

While Kayla is fighting to build her company, she's also fighting her own diagnosis.

"Me and my brother spend a lot of time in hospitals. We both have Crohn's disease and juvenile arthritis, and Ethan also uses a feeding machine, so we know what it's like to get really bored in hospitals, and we want to change that," Kayla said.

She has donated more than 8,100 items to Ronald McDonald Houses and hospitals and recently she was recognized for her own work.

After winning the local investors panel of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, then acing her regional competition, Kayla spoke to a panel of 10 judges in Washington, D.C., going head-to-head with five other kids in the United States. She walked away with first place.

"She's doing so many things at the age of 13 that aren't really normal. You know first of all, she's got a chronic illness. That's first and foremost, but second of all, she's also doing a lot of community service, she's always wanting to help others," her mom, Andrea, said. "I'm so proud I get choked up every time i think about it. I'm a really proud mom."

Kayla also received $30,000 college scholarship, a $3,000 Sam's gift card and a TV.

Kayla is setting her sights on one thing.

"I want to go worldwide," she said.