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Southeast Youth Entrepreneurs Advance to National Pitch Competition

·4 min read

Students Split $4,500 in Prize Money

Miami, FL, June 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagine participating in a Shark Tank-style pitch-off as a young person, winning funds to further your business—and advancing from a regional competition to a national arena.

The winners of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Southeast Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Finals will do just that, taking their business ideas to New York mid-October to vie for the title of National Champion and prizes from a pool of $18,000.

Jocelyn Johnson, who attends Palm Beach Gardens High School, won first-place for her business The Hive, which brings accurate allergen and dietary information to consumers from their favorite restaurants. She will receive $1000 as well as the $1,000 EY Entrepreneur-of-the-Year scholarship.

The other finalists, listed below, will receive $500 each. All competitors will continue to Nationals.

  • Jazmine Jenkins - Films by Jazz, Coral Reef High School, Miami Dade County 

    • Films by Jazz is a freelance videography service that creates video content for entrepreneurs who don’t know how or don’t have the time to create their own.

  • Darian Miroshnik, Roman Savko and Leon Grigoruk – Peers, Flagler Palm Coast High School, Flagler County 

    • Peers’s mission is to fulfill the gap within the tutoring industry. It provides students with affordable and accessible tutoring services and a way to acquire either community service hours or money.

  • Nyael Jones – More to Give, MacArthur High School, Broward County 

    • More to Give is a website that connects people to charitable organizations and amplifies awareness of world challenges. More to Give aims to shine light on smaller organizations, while guiding individuals down a road of positive contribution.

  • Ralph Suguene and Giselle Juarez -- Youth.IO, Cypress Creek High School, Orange County 

    • Youth.IO provides counseling in form of fun activities, lessons, and simply talking to each other.

  • Lorena Vazquez – Nori Forest, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Miami Dade County 

    • Nori Forest is an organization entirely focused on launching projects that will clean the environment from the pollutants that kill the planet. Nori Forest hopes to launch projects with Moon Shell, one of Nori Forest’s machines, to help clean the ocean and help reduce plastic pollution everywhere. With the collected trash, Nori Forest will convert the trash into everyday items like bracelets, bottles, necklaces, and more.

“Young people are changing the world—there is no question about it. We are so proud of every student and their commitment to entrepreneurship,” said Dr. J.D. LaRock, CEO of NFTE. “Each young entrepreneur’s innovative idea signifies an opportunity to address key challenges facing communities around the globe. We activate the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, and this is critical to growing businesses, economies, and communities.”

Two other NFTE Southeast students will also be presenting their businesses at Nationals. They are:

  • Daniela Alvarez – Dr. Kiran Patel High School, Tampa, Florida

    • PlantLovers.com helps would-be plant owners to learn the responsibilities of taking care of a plant, with reminders about watering and feeding, and information about the health benefits of plants.

  • Joella Alexander – Stone Mountain High School, DeKalb County, Georgia

    • Latin Flavors Co. offers convenient, affordable, delicious Hispanic food options with food trucks throughout the Tampa Bay area, as well as catering, and to-go meals.

The competition took place on May 13 at Nova Southeastern University’s Alan B. Levan Center for Innovation in Ft. Lauderdale, with a panel of expert judges, including:

  • Alan Alvarez, Miami Bayside Foundation

  • Steven J. Davis, EY

  • Amanda Gorski, The Children’s Trust

  • Anthony Hazen, Link Logistics

The NFTE Southeast Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge was presented by EY with signature support from H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at NSU Florida, and associate support from the Citi Foundation, Mary Kay, Inc., MONAT Gratitude, Royal Caribbean, Santander and Zuora.

About NFTE

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is a global nonprofit organization that provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle and high school students from under-resourced communities, as well as programs for college students and adults. NFTE reaches 50,000+ students annually in 25 states across the U.S. and offers programs in 18 additional countries. We have educated more than 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.

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CONTACT: Denise Berkhalter, APR Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) (212) 232-3333 deniseb@nfte.com Joanne Lessner Lambert (212) 222-7436 jlessner@lambert.com