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Participant Wins $20,000 in Extended Shark Tank Competition

Stephany Polanco’s commitment to mentorship pays off


Angel Investors Group Photo
December 2, 2022

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Just in Time for Foster Youth recently partnered with a group of anonymous angel investors from the San Diego business community (entrepreneurs, publishers, CEOs) to provide a life-changing business investment of $20,000 to twenty-four-year-old former foster youth Stephany Polanco.  

Stephany originally pitched the business plan for her company Picnic Perfectionss at Just in Time’s annual Shark Tank competition in September. Her business couples event planning and boutique baking to provide highly curated and intimate experiences for couples and small groups throughout the San Diego area.  

While Stephany came in third at the Shark Tank competition (JIT Participant Lupe Rodriguez took first place) her placement opened the door to an even greater opportunity – the chance to continue refining her business plan and accessing professional mentorship in the quest to win an additional $20,000 in seed money.

Stephany Polanco Winner

“Winning of course has been so exciting. Great things are coming. But to know that I made it this far is a huge deal to me because in my eyes, I lost the first time. Even though I placed third and still got prize money, it felt like a loss. But at the end of the day, the loss became a win because here I am!”

Stephany, JIT Participant  

Over the course of two months, each youth competitor committed to an intensive coaching schedule with the Angel Investors – meeting weekly to discuss and expand upon all aspects of youths’ business plans including strategy, finances, marketing, and liabilities.  

On Friday, November 22, Stephany and Lupe met with the group of angel investors/coaches at Dulci in Rancho Santa Fe to find out who would take home the $20,000 post Pathways Shark Tank grand prize.

In the end, Stephany, the third-place runner-up at the Shark Tank competition rose above her competitors to claim the $20K prize. As second place winner, Lupe was awarded $2,500 from the Angel Investors with an additional $500 presented by JIT CEO Don Wells.   

Stephany Polanco Winner

During the award dinner, Angel investor Mike Lamb expressed gratitude for the experience and announced the Angel Investors’ commitment to repeat the competition next year with brand new participants! 


Access to Life Changing Choices 

That’s what the Just in Time community is all about. Working with participants like Stephany Palanco to make sure they have support to chart their own course and achieve their chosen dreams. 

This month, we’ll single out a few individuals at our My First Home for the Holiday event who have been particularly impressive as representatives and role models for what JIT is all about. 

Growing more Confident and extending beyond your comfort zone. Showing vulnerability and leadership by creating solutions for themselves and those around them. 

Becoming more Capable by consistently demonstrating growth in knowledge, skills, and self-sufficiency. Achieving your goal through research, hard work, and persistence. 

Staying Connected by maximizing positive emotional interactions. Maintaining healthy relationships and increasing their network of support. 

And building Community with consistent involvement that demonstrates clear and responsive engagement that empowers us all. 

We’ll showcase a select few participants this weekend, and there are so many more who have earned our admiration and anticipation for all their Life Changing Choices that lie ahead 

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R2R Retreat 2023 Photos

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