Intro by: Sylvia McKinney, NFTE Philadelphia  Executive Director
NFTE Philadelphia is busy getting back into the routine of school, but last year’s regional challenge winners are also busy. They’re prepping for next month’s NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge . Both young entrepreneurs who will represent the Philadelphia program office, Raleigh Russell and Dominique Hughes, share their paths to success.
From: Raleigh Russell
Honestly, I really was not interested in business until I enrolled in a business class at my high school. I thought that NFTE stood for National Fitness Training Exercise program. Wow, was I surprised on my first day of class. Not only do I now know what NFTE stands for, I also – and more importantly – know how to start a business. This would not have been possible without my enthusiastic teacher, Korie Muscolino. I am very glad that I choose this course, because I know now that it will benefit me in the future.
I decided on a business after I went to New York City on a business trip funded by NFTE. The main focus of the trip was to purchase wholesale products and sell such products at school. While I was in New York, I noticed Zodiac Bands and Slap Watches, bendable bands with a watch face that can be customized. I was fascinated by them and purchased 180 with my partner Stephan Johnson. At our school’s selling event, we sold them all in three hours. By doing this, I caught the bug and the idea to develop a business plan, and I knew I would enter the regional competition.
I shared my plans with my teacher, who also encouraged me to help others, even when competing against them, because these networks can be of real value to you in the future. Ms. Muscolino required my classmates and me to present our business plans countless times and gave us all feedback. From all of the critiquing