Local Students Win Big At Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
White Plains, NY - The heat was on last Wednesday, and we’re not talking about the unusually high heat and humidity that blanketed the region outside. Inside the halls of Westchester Community College 43 high school students from Westchester raised the temperature and the bar as they competed in the 2011 NFTE Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.The Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was the culmination of a year’s worth of work on the part of the students from the NFTE program who represented eight high schools, two community based organizations and one vocational school in Westchester. Throughout the day the students presented their original business plans to panels of distinguished judges made up of local entrepreneurs and business leaders. Five finalists were then selected to move on to the final competition.
Andrew Gomez, a senior at Port Chester High School took 1st place that included an award of $1,500 in seed money for Smart Treats, a “an affordable, enjoyable, and healthy alternative snack food”. Smart Treats are vitamin Rich cereal bars made from whole grain cereals, low-calorie marshmallow and dried fruits. Andrew will now go on to compete in NFTE’s National Challenge in New York City this Fall.
Second place, which included a $750 award went to Lincoln High School senior Christal Somar for Lit2Life, a company that “turns classic novels into interactive games to ensure that students are able to learn and review famous plots that are a huge part of all high school curriculum.”
Lincoln High School senior Crystal Reyes won 3rd place and $100 for snack alternative Sushi Sweets, “a treat that resembles traditional sushi and is made up of sugar-free/gluten free candies and sweet treats.
“This competition just shows the incredible results of blending hard-working students with wonderful, caring and imaginative teachers and a huge group of senior executives who truly care about helping kids grow and mature into responsible young entrepreneurs,” said Joel Warren, Executive Director of NFTE Fairchester.
Judges for the final round of the Countywide Challenge were: Mike Weinstein, Chairman - INOV8 Beverage Co., John Debois, Vice President - Northrup Grumman, Lisa DeBois, EVP (Ret'd) Pitney Bowes,
Xavier James, President - The James Group, LLC, Kevin Smith, Area Director - General Support Services, Carmen Vega, Director of Corporate Philanthropy - MasterCard International and Doug Young, Director - HSBC Center for Economic and Financial Education.
Since 1999, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Fairchester has inspired high school students in economically disadvantaged communities to change their paths by equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to utilize their most valuable commodity: their creativity. Spanning two counties (Westchester and Fairfield), two states (New York and Connecticut), and eight school districts, the unique entrepreneurial curriculum for the year-long program guides students through a "mini-MBA" program which requires 70-100 hours of class time.
Approximately 1.2 million students in the U.S. drop out before graduating from high school. One-third of these dropouts are unemployed. In Westchester and Fairfield Counties, NFTE Fairchester has been changing the minds and lives of potential high school dropouts for over a decade, creating incentives to keep them in school and providing them with the tools to achieve their dreams as entrepreneurs in the business world.
NFTE Fairchester is located at 70 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, NY. For more information call (914) 607-4811 or visit http://www.nfte.com/what/programs/fairchester.