"The drop-out crisis in our country is real, 30% of our high school students never graduate. Teaching entrepreneurial skills, NFTE's leadership, is a big part of the answer. I was lucky enough to have them as a great partner in Chicago, ... so I want to thank NFTE for their remarkable work, not just in Chicago, but around the country. Collectively, we have to end this drop-out crisis... and NFTE is going to help us get where we need to go as a country."

- The Hon. Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Award-winning filmmaker Mary Mazzio created an extraordinary documentary that chronicles the inspirational stories of teens from low-income communities striving to defy the odds as they compete in NFTE’s annual business-plan competition entered by 24,000 students across the country. The film, TEN9EIGHT, received its first public screening on July 1st at the Aspen Ideas Festival, where it was given a passionate introduction by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Secretary Duncan's introduction of TEN9EIGHT, and the film's trailer:


U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and Rodney Walker, NFTE alum and narrator of TEN9EIGHT

Rodney Walker, one of the students featured in the film, Mary Mazzio, and NFTE’s CEO & President Amy Rosen had the honor of meeting with Secretary Duncan while at the festival. The sold-out screening, which was met with a standing ovation, was followed by a panel discussion between Mary, Rodney and Amy, and was moderated by Steven Brill. A champagne reception completed the evening, and guests were served Popsy Cakes, the delicious treat created by Jessica Cervantes, the 1st place winner of the 2008 national business plan competition.

For more information about TEN9EIGHT, visit www.ten9eight.com.