Contributed by Trish Vanni

For the past three months, students in the North Division member schools have been artfully crafting business plans for their innovative VE enterprises, getting ready for the wave of competitions that will lead to the annual Youth Business Summit (YBS) this Spring. On January 18, seven participating schools represented by 134 students convened on the campus of the College of Mount St. Vincent (CMSV) in the Bronx to compete. Yonkers, Wappinger Falls, and the greater Bronx region were represented.

Excitement was in the air as the competition convened in person for the first time in two years. Each team had ten minutes to present their executive summary to educators and businesspeople judging the competition. Each was followed by a question-and-answer session. Evodia, of John Jay HS of the Wappingers Central School District, was the first-place winner. Each of the eight members of the award-winning team were awarded an $8,000 scholarship to CMSV in recognition of their accomplishment.

Evodia’s business plan was for scented oils and soaps using essential oils. Their product was presented in a professional yet enthusiastic way, capturing the attention of the judging panel. Beautifully executed samples drove home the value proposition for Evodia, as their products – designed to alleviate stress in our tumultuous times – proved particularly compelling and relevant.
A highlight of the gathering was a panel discussion led by CMSV alumni. They shared how a CMSV education has proved invaluable to their professional success in life, and describe the relevant, real-world-focused coursework in CMSV’s curriculum, and the determination and care demonstrated by their professors. Dolphin* pride was evident as they described their experience of this “academically excellent, authentically inclusive, independent liberal arts college.”

Competition winners, along with others from around the nation, will soon be heading to Manhattan for the excitement of the annual Youth Business Summit (YBS) in April. YBS is a one-of-its-kind experience in which the International Trade Show, National Business Plan Competition, National Human Resources Competition, National Marketing Competition, National Finance Competition, and National Quickbooks Competition, VE Executive Conference and Global Innovation Challenge all take place.
Virtual Enterprises International leaders and participants extend deep thanks to Douglas McNabb, Associate Vice President of Enrollment, Nina Aversano, Professor of Management, and Gabriela Donato, Senior Assistant Director for Admission at CMSV for hosting, as well as for the generosity of the scholarships provided to winners. Go Dolphins! We’re Dolfans, too!

* The CMSV mascot is the dolphin, considered among the most intelligent, communicative, and swift of animals.  

Photos by Shaun Sanders