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Former Head Start student advances to NEO Pitch Competition finals

A former Step Forward Head Start student will debut a unique idea at the 2023 NEO Pitch Competition.


According to the Young Entrepreneur Institute’s website, the Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge will give students kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to showcase their creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and presentation skills. The competition is open to anyone in Northeast Ohio.

Sean “SC” Gettis describes himself as a content creator. The 11-year-old student began his education at Step Forward’s William Patrick Day Head Start.


“I think Head Start helped with his ability to talk and communicate,” Gettis’ father, Stephen Gettis, explained. “He speaks very well. The teachers at William Pat Day always spoke with him about using his voice. It’s something we have been developing ever since.”


Sean hopes to one day become a professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.


“We know that only a small percentage of people make it to the NBA,” Stephen Gettis acknowledged. “So, we’re continuing to explore all of the roles involved with the game at the highest level.”


Sean has always been passionate about basketball. He began playing at the age of eight. For years, he has relied on his entrepreneurial skills to pay for the costs required to play with four different basketball leagues, including school leagues and AAU.


“He makes and sells lemonade and iced tea for $5 a gallon to raise money. He also has his own line of T-shirts,” Stephen said.

Out of dozens of pitches submitted to the NEO Pitch Competition, Sean’s entry, titled “The Elite Shot,” advanced to the finals.


Every year, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sean hires a basketball trainer and offers a basketball clinic called Free to Dream. It serves students in the first through eighth grades. Sean not only hosts the clinic, but assists the trainer in demonstrating the drills. Each attendee is allowed the opportunity to showcase what they learned in a 5v5 scrimmage.


“Parents, are you tired of traveling long distances for expensive basketball trainings?” the sixth-grader asks in his video. “Come to the Free to Dream Basketball Camp. I created the Free to Dream Basketball Camp with you and your child in mind!”


Sean continues to explain that his top priority is to provide a safe and unique environment for the campers and their parents to build positive relationships with others.


His entry is one of 77 that advanced to the finals but will only compete against the 29 entered in the middle school category.


To vote for Sean “SC” Gettis’ pitch, click here. Public voting ends May 1st.



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