Schools may be closed but that didn’t stop NFTE students from refining their business plans and pitches. Five businesses outshined the competition in the 2020 NFTE Southeast Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and qualified to compete at Nationals this year. They will advance to the quarterfinal rounds in the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge this October:
- Janiya Sinclair, age 16, from Southwest DeKalb High School in Atlanta, GA, won with a business pitch for Cherish Variety Greeting Cards, a lavish line of greeting cards that can also be planted.
- Sabrina Martinez, age 17, and Ruben Meizoso, age 18, from John A. Ferguson High School in Miami-Dade County, FL, won with their pitch for Tap In, an device and app that allows students to check in or “tap in” to classrooms with their phones, providing safety and accountability.
- Indiraliz Gracia, age 18, from McArthur High School in Broward County, FL, won with a pitch for Gracia & Co, a business providing eco-friendly headbands, creatively repurposing clothes.
- Rylan Gonzalez, age 17, from Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach County, FL, won with a pitch for Pups & Anxiety Connection Kids (“PACK”), a support group offered to elementary school-age students with anxiety and depression.
- Aysia Bynes and Kandyce Williamson, both age 15, from Forest High School in Marion County, FL won with their pitch for LevelUp Ocala, a volunteer website working to bring nonprofits and youth together.