anamaria morales
An EL Molino High School senior with an inventive, enterprising nature is one of 10 student entrepreneurs selected nationwide in a national social innovation contest. Anamaria Morales is competing to win $10,000 and a trip to the Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

Morales’ innovation is a project called Trash Bash, a recycling competition between classes at El Molino. The goal is to promote recycling and educate students about their impact on the environment. Morales pitched her project at a daylong design thinking workshop hosted by Adventure Capital in Emeryville and sponsored by GENYOUth Foundation. She was one of 40 students who put their ideas forward. Other winners came from regional competitions in San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix, New York and Philadelphia.

Chosen by an online public vote at http://bit.do/teeninnovator — the competition ends Dec. 4 — the eventual winner will be named GENYOUth Teen Innovator, in addition to the $10,000 and the SuperBowl trip for four.

Morales was not entirely a stranger to the arena; she had won $1,800 for a student store project at a previous GENYOUth competition. In addition to Morales’ first place in Emeryville, El Molino senior Julia Weggenmann won $1,000 for a salad bar project. She will use the grant money to incorporate the school’s woodshop class in the work to improve the school’s garden infrastructure, and its culinary classes to grow vegetables for the school’s salad bar.

Freshman Ziven Posner also took part, pitching a school garden improvement.

Morales, who intends to study business in college, was entrepreneurial from early on. She started a greeting card business as a 9-year-old, selling cards to downtown Healdsburg stores.

“I enjoy thinking creatively and looking for ways to implement my ideas,” she said.