Virtual Enterprise students prepare to leave for New York competition


Photo courtesy of Bradynn Belcher

Bearden’s VE students, led by CEO Bradynn Belcher (far right), prepare for their competition in New York.

Bearden’s Virtual Enterprise students are finalizing preparations for their biggest competition of the year. Eight students will leave for New York on Sunday to participate in the three-day long event.

Virtual Enterprise is an international high school program that teaches students how to conduct a business with help from mentors and business teachers to prepare students for the possibility of a future in business.

VE is a capstone course, and every student is required to take one business course prior to the class. 

VE is a high participation class that requires students to step out of their comfort zones. One goal of VE is to give students a better understanding of the economy, by getting paychecks, paying bills, managing a budget and paying taxes.

Students are interviewed for Virtual Enterprise and after being accepted for the year-long course, they brainstorm business ideas and split into different roles, from CEO to salesperson. They compete in several competitions a year. For some VE students, the most awaited is the New York competition. 

“You have to qualify for the New York trip (individually and as a business),” VE sponsor Mrs. Jami Aylor said. “This year we qualified in social Media, HR, and QuickBooks.” 

Virtual Enterprise will present at Long Island University (Brooklyn Campus) against many other VE firms around the country.

The first round is a preliminary round which we are scheduled to compete in and if we make it, we will compete in the final round for final placement,” junior Kenna Venard said. “On the other days, we are scheduled to go on multiple tours around the city to grasp a better concept of corporate business in America.”

VE’s first order of business in New York is to compete with other high schools’ programs and further their knowledge on how to run a business, but it can also be a fun trip for students, whose hard work is finally paying off. During the trip, students will do some sightseeing, see a broadway musical, and visit some well known New York eateries when they aren’t competing. 

This year’s company is Plas Tech, and their goal is removing micro plastics from drinking water and limiting the effects ingesting microplastics can cause. Toxic properties like carcinogens can be found in micro plastics, which have been found to cause cancer and other life threatening diseases, so Plas Tech’s business is working to provide a nontoxic alternative to traditional plastic, starting with the bottle. 

In our company this year, PlasTech, my role is the Director of Brand Strategy, which means that I am in charge of graphic design branding for the company,” Venard said.

After multiple competitions and tradeshows, the work is finally paying off. VE students have worked all year long to perfect their business, website, and talking points for Plas Tech and are excited to represent Bearden High School during nationals. 

“I am very thrilled to be qualified to go to New York,” senior Kaili Ajamie said. “It feels very unreal and special to compete against people across the nation.

“My team and I have put in a lot of time and effort to make this presentation the best it can be, and I am very proud of us.”