Posted June 16, 2010on:
Back row (l-r) Michael Ambrose, President/CEO of US Alliance F.C.U.; Xavier James, President of The James Group, LLC; Nancy Meyer, Vice President-Cash Management of TD Bank North; Alistair Jessiman, Managing Director of Novantas LLC; Michael Armstrong, SVP & Genl Mgr. of BET International; and Mike Ross, Executive Coach
Front row (l-r) Lincoln HS senior, Terrence Curtiss (4th place winner for ChiLL); Lincoln HS senior, Maxine Attobrah (3rd place winner for SIP ‘N MUNCH); Woodlands HS junior, Nia McCarthy (2nd place winner for Pets Next Door); and Lincoln HS senior, Crista Quiles (1st place winner for Silly Bones)
2. Yonkers WC County-wide PARTICIPANTS:
Ron Sanchez (Lincoln HS teacher), Carlos Mendoza (Lincoln HS student), Lauren Trager (Lincoln HS teacher), Terrence Curtiss (Lincoln HS student and 4th place winner), Crista Quiles (Lincoln HS student and 1st place winner), Maxine Attobrah (Lincoln HS student and 3rd place winner), Joanne Martselos (Lincoln HS Academy of Finance Director), and Ellen Lynch (President and CEO of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency and Chair of NFTE’s Advisory Board )
Three Lincoln High School Seniors Win Top Awards in NFTE Fairchester’s Westchester County Business Plan Competition
First Place Winner, Crista Quiles; Third Place Winner, Maxine Attobrah;
Fourth Place Winner, Terrence Curtiss
(Yonkers, NY – June 7, 2010) –: Lincoln High School seniors competing with students from several other Westchester County schools were recipients of first, third and fourth place during the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Fairchester’s annual County-wide business plan competition. The three winners are students of teacher Lauren Trager at the Lincoln HS Finance Academy. The competition was held at held at Westchester Community College Wednesday evening, June 2nd. The honors include monetary awards to invest as seed money in their businesses
Crista Quiles, a senior at Lincoln High School in Yonkers, earned first place. Quiles presented her business plan for Silly Bones, a bilingual children’s book with an accompanying CD, to a panel of eight judges comprised of senior business executives from Westchester County. The award, which was announced and presented by Michael Armstrong, Senior VP and General Manager of BET International, includes a cash prize of $1500 and the opportunity for Quiles to compete for additional prizes of up to $10,000 in the NFTE National Competition to be held in New York this coming October.
Armstrong says “The talent level displayed by the NFTE students in the Fairchester competition was so inspirational. It’s clear that given the right structure, these young entrepreneurs can and will be the next business pioneers of tomorrow”
Quiles plans to invest some of the money back into her business and to use the rest of it for college expenses. She will be entering Fordham University in the fall and will major in Political Science. Her next plans include finding an illustrator, obtaining a copyright, and publishing her book. She also plans to translate Silly Bones into three more languages before fall.
Quiles credits her family for their support and her teachers in the Lincoln HS Finance Academy including Steve Mulqueen and Ron Sanchez who were her teachers from prior years, and Joanne Martselos, the Director of the NFTE program at Lincoln HS. Quiles is especially thankful to her current NFTE coach, Lauren Trager, for encouraging her and helping her to perfect the details of her business.
About her experience with the NFTE program Crista says, “NFTE has taught me so much about the real world and about myself. The experience was an eye opener. The skills I’ve acquired from my NFTE experience — time management, financial management, networking, and others — are ones that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
The second place award of $750 was presented to Woodlands HS junior, Nia McCarthy for her business Pets Next Door, a company created to fill the needs of New Rochelle pet owners who want to give their pets more attention.
Third place winner and recipient of $500 is Lincoln HS Senior Maxine Attobrah for her business Sip ’N Munch, a totally edible, nutritious snack cup.
The fourth place winner and recipient of $250 is Lincoln HS Senior Terrence Curtiss, for ChiLL, a healthy, refreshing beverage for ice tea lovers.
The four winners were among sixteen business plans presented at the county wide competition which represented the culmination of a year’s worth of work on the part of students in six different high schools, two community based organizations, and one vocational school in Westchester County.
Ellen Lynch, Executive Director to the Yonkers IDA and Chair of NFTE Fairchester’s Advisory Board, applauds all the student competitors.
“These NFTE entrepreneurs are the business and professional leaders of tomorrow. Their projects are innovative and the presentations show they have a real grasp on how to achieve business success,” said Ellen Lynch, Chair of NFTE’s Advisory Board and President and CEO of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency.
Lynch was particularly proud that three of the final winners were from Yonkers’ Lincoln High School, students in teacher Lauren Trager’s class.
“It is particularly exciting to see that three of the finalists, including our winner Crista Quiles, are from Yonkers own Lincoln High School. Congratulations to them and to their teacher, Lauren Trager. Their achievements demonstrate the great strides in academic excellence our Yonkers schools have made in recent years. Yonkers understands that a good school system helps drive quality of life for families and provides an important incentive for companies when deciding where they will create new jobs and invest their capital.”
Lauren Trager, thrilled to see the students succeed, says, “NFTE possesses the ability to allow each student the courage to dream and the power to see these dreams come to fruition. It not only changes lives, but generations of lives.”
About NFTE Fairchester
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. The NFTE Fairchester Region was launched in 1999 in order to provide entrepreneurship training to the low-income young people of Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Since inception, NFTE Fairchester has served over 9,000 students.
For the 2008-2009 school year, NFTE Fairchester served 1,171 students. For the current 2009-2010 school year, NFTE Fairchester is serving approximately 1,050 students.