Student Testimonials

Every year, VEI prepares thousands of students across the country, offering countless opportunities and aiding students to develop the kind of proactive mindset that allows them to capitalize on these opportunities. Below are videos that showcase the students near the end of their VEI experience, transformed and ready to take on the world.

2017

From Simulation to Startup: VE Venture Challenge at the 2017 Gala

VEI celebrated the Magic of Entrepreneurship and the future of business at our fifth annual Gala on Wednesday, April 5, where we proudly recognized Liza Tarakanova as the winner of the inaugural VE Venture Challenge. A $10,000 award and 1-year membership at WeWork Labs will help Lisa launch TredBed, a business venture that will help revolutionize the medical industry.

2016

2016 Gala – Student Stories from VE’s Past, Present, and Future

On April 19, 2016, VEI celebrated its 20th anniversary at its fourth annual Gala, an event that drew 375 leaders from education and business who gathered to see and support the future of business. Several current and former VEI students played key roles at the event, including:
Usha Sookai, CEO of iParty from Middle School 137 in Queens, New York and a VE-JV Career Academy student, who served as emcee for the night.

Abrar Ayub, Darnell Jean-Charles, Nick DeSanto, and Lana Koretsky, VEI Class of 2005 from Edward R. Murrow HS in New York, NY, who shared how VEI shaped their future careers by serving in roles in their high school VE that provided a path to their current professional jobs.

Jasmine Andrews, COO of Trojan Wall from Thomas Jefferson High School in Tampa, Florida, who talked about the ways that VEI empowers young women to find their inner strength and believe in their capacity to become business leaders.

Jasmine Andrews
Thomas Jefferson High School, Tampa, Florida – Class of 2016

Jasmine talks about the ways that VEI empowers young women to find their inner strength and believe in their capacity to become business leaders.

2015

Richmond Anyetei
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York, NY – Class of 2015

VEI allowed Richmond to gain control over his life.

Mike Claustro
School of Business and Tourism at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, Los Angeles, CA – Class of 2015

VEI’s workplace environment was a natural fit for a creative, entrepreneurial student like Mike.

2014

James Holmes
Crenshaw High School, Los Angeles, CA – Class of 2014

Pillow Tune’s CEO shares why he’s thankful for the VEI experience and how he wishes every student in his community and similar communities across the United States will get the same opportunity.

Oluwatoyin (Toyin) Shitta-Bey
New Dorp HS, Staten Island, NY – Class of 2014

Watch below to see how VEI prepared Toyin to face challenges in college and the rest of his life.

 

Vonzell Byrd (CEO, TigerTech, Inc., Chicago), Angel Cepedes (Class of 2011), Crystal Helton (VP of Marketing, Eden’s Confections, SC), Slav Kuzmin (Class of 2009), Saul Lopez (CEO, Art Beat, CA), Jordan Knox (CEO, Versorna, NYC), Anthony Lewis (Class of 2011), Nathaly Lopez (Class of 2005), Catherine Perez (CEO, T-Squared, NYC), Rosalvens Saint Jean (CEO, 10 Chefs N’ A Gourmet Bundle, Boston), Bri Smith (Class of 2013)

This group of eleven current and former students handled the stage like seasoned business professionals and captivated the guests even more than the breathtaking view of Manhattan’s nighttime skyline.

2013

Shane Meares
Santa Barbara High School, Santa Barbara, CA – Class of 2013

The CEO of DONS Net Cafe shares how his doubts were replaced by confidence, what it takes to realize one’s full potential, and his personal epiphany about translating a passion into a career.

 

Josuel Plasencia
Academy of Finance & Enterprise, New York, NY – Class of 2013

The ASAP CEO talks about how VEI empowered him to transform a world full of unfavorable circumstances, into one where he speaks at corporate events at Wall Street and rings the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Santiago Hernandez
Santa Barbara High School, Santa Barbara, CA – Class of 2013

The CFO of DONS Net Cafe traveled a great distance to get where he is today.