Mott Hall Middle School sixth graders share business plan ideas with today’s classmates, tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

NEW YORK, July 21, 2010 – The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) New York Metro program office announced today the winners of a recent business pitch competition at Mott Hall Middle School in Manhattan.

The competition was part of a pilot for NFTE’s new curriculum to teach middle school students about careers, including entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Exploring Careers for the 21st Century, made possible by a grant from MetLife Foundation, was piloted this spring in two New York City public middle schools, Mott Hall Middle School and MS 233 – The Laboratory School of Finance & Technology in the Bronx. The pilot will be expanded to Miami-area schools this fall.

“MetLife Foundation shares NFTE’s commitment to preparing young people for success in school, the workplace and life,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with NFTE in teaching middle school students about entrepreneurship and congratulate the enterprising students who participated in and won the inaugural middle school business pitch competition.”

Sixth grader Mateuz Zukowski won first place for his product, Heat it Up, a portable, cordless heater complete with a safely mechanism that beeps to warn users when the heater gets dangerously hot. Second place went to his classmates Stephanie Luna and Jerilyne Almonte for Preg Bed, a bed which molds to the shape of a pregnant woman’s body, allowing her to sleep more comfortably. Third place was a tie for Charmed, a jewelry business by Annie and Angelika Garcia, and Shake It!, a fruit smoothie business by Ariella Caminero and Emily Vega.

“Entrepreneurship education keeps students interested and engaged in school, and changes the way they think about their futures,” says Amy Rosen, NFTE’s President & CEO. “By the time they reach high school, students on the risk of dropping out have already made the decision mentally and have disengaged themselves. For that reason, it’s critical to reach them at the middle school age so they make the choice to stay in school.”

For more information about the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s middle school curriculum or to schedule an interview, contact David Buttrill at or 212-232-3333 ext 344.

About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife in 1976 to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support health, education, civic and cultural programs. In youth development, the Foundation funds initiatives that increase financial literacy, promote mentoring and provide constructive activities and safe places for young people, particularly during out-of-school time. For more information about the Foundation, visit

About Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
Too many young people today drop out of school and struggle to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been inspiring young people to pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life.

By providing entrepreneurship education programs relevant to the real world, NFTE empowers students to own their educations in and out of the classroom and to find their own path to success. Hundreds of thousands of students have discovered opportunity all around them through entrepreneurship via thousands of certified educators worldwide. NFTE supports active programs in 21 states and 10 other countries through our network of program offices and licensed partners. Entrepreneurs are a powerful driver of economic growth and NFTE sows the seeds of innovation in students worldwide. To learn how you can help students realize their potential, visit