On Wednesday, students at presented in a classroom competition and were judged by a panel of community members based on how they presented their ideas and formulated their business plans.
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Fairchester oversees entrepreneurship programs in high schools around the country where students are tasked with creating business plans. Robin Altman, program director for NFTE Fairchester works with teachers to implement the program and ensure they have the resources to help the students along the way.
“Of course we’d love for them to actually start these businesses, but the real goal is for them to stay in school, to find the relevance in school,” Altman said.
Next Wednesday, students from schools around Fairfield County will meet and compete in the county competition at Norwalk Community College. The first prize winner of the competition will move on to NFTE’s National Competition in the fall. The winner of the national competition receives $10,000 and, for the past two years, has been able to meet President Obama.
The top two students from each of three classes at Westhill will advance to the next phase of the competition. Last week, Josie Spelling and Ashley Richardson placed first and second in their class. Earlier Wednesday morning, Senior Mananav Puri placed first in his class for his plan to start an auto detailing business.
“I’m a big car guy,” Puri said. “I thought, why not go to peoples’ homes instead of them coming to me? Starting in January, I came up with the idea and then had to figure out exactly how to build clients and make it feasible.”
Senior Ebonee Parott placed second for her business, “Doggie Walkie,” a plan for the expansion of the dog walking business that she actually runs after school.
One by one, five students from Stephen Temelini’s entrepreneurship class took to the podium to tell the panel about their idea and present a Powerpoint.
Junior Victoria Molina received first place for “Molina’s Swimming and Guarding”—a lifeguarding business that would go around to private and public pools to guard at parties and gatherings. Molina based her company in Tampa, Florida where she plans to move after she graduates from high school.
“You’re planning a great event, you don’t want to worry, I’m there,” Molina told the judges.
Junior Jonathan Carter finished in second place for “Rock Body Fitness” — his plan to provide personal training services. Matt Brown’s “Curbside Catering,” Anne Hawthorn’s “Hawthorn’s Gym,” and Gloria Bran’s “Avo-Care” hair products also wowed the judges with their business plans and presentations.
This was Temelini's first year teaching entrepreneurship and he participated in NFTE's training last July.
"It's an intense training, but it's worth it," Temelini said. "This is my favorite subject to teach if you have the right class.