Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

CCC & FLCC YEA! student entreprenuers finalsts at the 12th annual Saunders Scholars National Competition at R.I.T.

LOCATE Finger Lakes congratulates Cayuga Community College (CCC) and Finger Lakes Community (FLCC) student entrepreneurs selected as finalists in the 12th annual Saunders Scholars National Scholarship competition on Saturday, October 17th, where students competed nationally and internationally for thousands of dollars in college scholarship assistance.

Church & Smith

Alexander Church, left, and Johntae Smith, right, co-founded EZ-Carries in Cayuga Community College’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

Alexander Church and Johntae Smith, Co-founders of EZ-Carries, were chosen the winners of the 2019-20 CCC Young Entrepreneurs Academy!. Alexander attends Union Springs Central School and Johntae attends middle school in Auburn. Working together as partners, they developed EZ-Carries, which creates and provides innovative products for people with temporary or permanent mobility difficulties. Their first product, the EZ-Carrier, is a water bottle that attaches to crutches, canes, wheelchairs and walkers. With money from their investors, they purchased two 3-D printers and have been making and selling their products online. Alexander and Johntae have a website to promote their products.

The winner of the Finger Lakes Community College YEA! program, Brandon Russell, created No Touch Flush, a device that allows a no contact way to flush a toilet. Brandon is a student in the Honeoye-Lima school district.

Brandon has already received orders for his product from both residential and commercial entities. He is currently seeking a patent for his creation and is selling his product online. Although he does not have a website at the present time, Brandon is taking orders through his email account,

Both the student entrepreneurs and their families have expressed their gratitude to LOCATE Finger Lakes for the opportunity to participate in this very worthwhile. LOCATE Finger Lakes in conjunction with Lyons National Bank (LNB) provides the funding for the program that allows students to attend tuition free, a $1,000 benefit per student.

Special thanks and gratitude to Dr. Brian Durant, President of Cayuga Community College (CCC) and Dr. Robert Nye, President of Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), for hosting and operating the YEA! program on their respective college campuses.

Special thanks and gratitude also go to Pam Heleen, former Program Manager at CCC and LaToya Collins, Program Manager at FLCC, and other businesses and individuals who have joined as sponsors of the program.

This year’s 2020-21 YEA! program will combine both the CCC & FLCC YEA! classes into one joint program, held virtually due to Covid-19, and interested students can still apply for the program by visiting or by contacting LaToya Collins at

« View all posts