"I’ve only entered a few competitions, and this was the first time I’ve won. My family and friends were so proud of me!”
Hennessey just returned from New York for the NFTE’s National Business Challenge full of excitement. She attended the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's (NFTE's). She was one of 46 students chosen to compete in New York — from a pool of 25,000 students across the country!
This past summer, APCH partnered with the NFTE to host a business boot camp, also known as BizCamp which culminates in a Shark Tank style pitch competition.
Building Up Young Entrepreneurs
Despite the challenge being a high school level curriculum, Hennessey, an incoming 8th grader, won first place for her business! Her business plan, Flowers in Me, came out of her time in our Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Program during the Fall 2017 semester.
“In class, I strive to get to the core of our members’ motivations and work towards intentional businesses,” says Tiffany Huey who leads the program. “Hennessey’s business was inspired by a 5-year-old family member who had lost her battle with cancer.”
“My business was selling headbands I called ‘flower crowns,’ ” says Hennessey. “The model was buy one, donate one to someone battling cancer so they’ll know they are beautiful and strong.”
Hennessey Brings Home Confidence and Enthusiasm
Hennessey’s NYC trip was her first time traveling outside California and her first time on a plane. Apart from the competition itself, Hennessey says her favorite part of New York was going to the top of the Empire State Building. “I felt like I was on top of the world!” she says.
On the day of the competition, Hennessey was nervous and excited but confident and ready to give it her all. Though in the end she wasn’t selected to move to the next round, she says she is still confident that she did well. Not only that, but the skills she learned will take her far.
“I know this competition will be helpful for me in the future,” says Hennessey. “The presentation skills and business ideas and concepts I learned help me understand how much it takes to do a business and keep it running. I learned confidence, speaking better and how to show expression. And I learned that if I work hard and put my mind to it, I can do anything.”
Congratulations, Hennessey! We’re all proud of you!