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Winners of NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Competition Meet President Obama

Resource type: News

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship |

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship is an Atlantic grantee.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurship among youth in low-income communities, announced October 8 that the winner of the 2009 OppenheimerFunds/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge presented by Kathryn W. Davis is Kalief Rollins of Carson, CA, a 2009 graduate of Downey High School and now a freshman at Los Angeles Southwest College. Kalief won for his development of a business plan for Phree Kountry Clothing, which sells custom T-shirts. The winner received a prize of $10,000 at the conclusion of the final day of competition at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Second prize ($5,000) went to Zoe Damacela, a senior at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, IL, who won by creating a business plan for Zoë Damacela Apparel, her line of custom-made clothing.

Third prize ($2,500) went to Scott Paiva, a 2009 graduate of New Bedford High School in New Bedford, MA, and now a freshman at Suffolk University in Boston, who won by creating a business plan for Express Tax Service, a tax preparation service for young people.

All three prize-winners met with President Barack Obama at The White House later in the month.

The competition selects the best business plans from among those submitted by 24,000 students who completed a semester- or year-long course designed by NFTE and taught in high schools across the United States. At the end of each course, the students’ business plans were judged, and finalists from each region of the nation were chosen.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) started out at a high school tutoring the poorest students. The organisation now has hundreds of thousands of graduates.

Philippa Thomas reports in the BBC News video piece.

Steve Hartman reports in the CBS News video piece.

Read the full press release below.

Photo (left to right): Third-prize winner Scott Paiva, Second-prise winner Zoe Damacela, President Barack Obama, and first prize winner Kalief Rollins.

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