Leading education nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) celebrated its 35th year on April 7, 2022 at the NFTE Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards Gala, hosted by Emmy Award-winning Spectrum News NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills. The three student winners of the 2021 NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (NYEC) presented the awards to corporate partner Intuit, NFTE alumna Jasmine Lawrence, and longstanding board member Tucker York, in honor of their commitment to furthering entrepreneurship education.
The gala raised over $1 million for the organization, which for more than three decades has taught startup skills and activated the entrepreneurial mindset in over one million young people from underserved communities worldwide. The evening also included an expo showcasing the businesses of NFTE alumni including students from Israel and Austria who participated in NFTE’s World Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge earlier in the week.
Additionally, NFTE presented Randall Baugh, Managing Director, Head of Compliance, The Bancorp, Inc., with the Exemplary Board Service Award.
“We’re honored to share this milestone with our community and to recognize the exemplary leadership of our honorees, while celebrating the winners of this year’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge,” said NFTE CEO Dr. J.D. LaRock. “We are extremely grateful to those whose generous contributions will allow NFTE to continue to serve students worldwide, teaching business and leadership skills for generations to come.”
Software company Intuit provides its Design for Delight (D4D) training to NFTE students and alumni, equipping young entrepreneurs with the skills to put their concepts into action. Dave Zasada, Intuit’s Vice President of Education and Corporate Responsibility, accepted the award on behalf of Intuit from national student champion Madelyn Jackson, whose P.A.C.A. app helps children who are nonverbal or on the autism spectrum communicate.
Jasmine Lawrence, Founder and CEO of EDEN BodyWorks, product manager of Everyday Robots, was recognized for her service as a mentor to young women beginning their professional careers and NFTE Bay Area Advisory Board member. Lawrence started EDEN BodyWorks at age 13, and her products are now sold by major retailers, including Target, Walmart and Sally Hansen. Her award was presented by national student champion Amylah Charles, who founded her own haircare line, CurlyCrownz.
Tucker York, a longtime NFTE supporter and volunteer and Global Co-Head of Consumer and Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC., was recognized for his years of business leadership and commitment to entrepreneurship education and talent development. He received his award from national student champion Carissa Lombardi, whose app Legislation Navigation helps voters understand proposed legislation and collects voter information for lawmakers.
A video commemorating NFTE’s history showcased NFTE’s founder, Steve Mariotti and alumni James “Jimmy Mac” McNeal, founder of Union Square Shoes; Innovashion Group founder Jan Baker; artist Olivia Be’Nguyen (aka Fiyabomb); and 2020 national student winner, José Rodriguez, creator of autism-friendly apparel company Tasium.
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is a global nonprofit organization that provides high-quality entrepreneurship education in under-resourced communities through programs for middle and high school students, college students, and adult learners. NFTE reaches 50,000+ K-12 students annually, in 25 states across the U.S. and in 20 other countries. We have educated well over a million students through in-school, out-of-school, college, and summer camp programs, offered in person and online. To learn more about how we are promoting inclusive capitalism and building the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs, visit www.nfte.com. See NFTE’s latest report on entrepreneurship at www.nfte.com/trendsreport.