Introducing April’s Alum of the Month + NY Metro’s Student of The Year: Carlos Feitosa

Last school year, Carlos Feitosa was introduced to NFTE by participating in a NFTE entrepreneurship course at his high school in the Bronx. Born and raised in Brazil, Carlos grew up on a family owned farm. There, his family grew organic produce that ranged from lemons to mangoes. Being surrounded by nature influenced his family to use all natural products.

After moving to New York in 2015, Carlos started using regular soap products bought at convenience stores. Around the same time, Carlos began to break out on his skin. Because of this, Carlos started paying closer attention to the labels of the soap products that he was using. Surprisingly, he discovered that the soap he was using was filled with a long list of hard-to-pronounce chemical ingredients. Carlos went online and researched what was the best way to prevent acne without chemicals, and he found that it was with soaps. Soon after, Carlos’s business idea, Shine Soaps was born.

Once Carlos started his entrepreneurship class and got started with his business plan, his determination and excitement towards entrepreneurship exploded. Last spring, he competed in NFTE’s regional business plan competition, the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC), and then continued to work on his launching his business by participating in the Startup Summer program. One of his favorite parts of having his own business is sharing his elevator pitch with potential new customers.

Today, Carlos sells his handcrafted, all-natural soaps online at www.shinesoaps.com. He is an incredibly active and engaged NFTE alum, and we are so excited to share that he is not only our April Alum of the Month, but also NY Metro’s Student of the Year!

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We got together with Carlos to ask him a few questions about his experiences in the past year with NFTE.



1. How was NFTE different than your other classes?

NFTE was different than my other classes because it was a class that showed me how the world actually worked. My NFTE class wasn’t just sitting down and doing work, it was about applying different skills into creating a business idea and eventually a business plan and then presenting it. By participating and engaging on a deep level in my NFTE class, I realized that although I love aviation, business is actually what I want to follow as a career.

2. What was the biggest challenge throughout your NFTE class, and how did you overcame it?

For me, the most difficult time was actually putting everything that was in my head onto paper. Writing everything down and figuring out all the pieces that it takes to have a great business plan was very stressing. I overcame that challenge with a lot of research and revision of my plan.

3. What advice would you give to current NFTE students preparing for their in-class business plan competitions?

I would tell students not to be lazy and get out of their comfort zones. I’d also tell them to take every opportunity that presents itself. NFTE offers amazing support and workshops that add value to their business plans and presentation skills.

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4. How do you currently use the skills you gained from NFTE?

Currently, I am a Teaching Assistant for the NFTE class at my school. I am supporting current NFTE students who are going through the process of finalizing their business plans and practicing their business pitches. In addition, I’m also using all the skills that I learned from NFTE in making decisions on how to fun my business, Shine Soaps.

5. You were named NFTE New York Metro’s Student of the Year. What does that recognition mean to you?

Being recognized as Student of the Year means a lot to me. It means that among the 3,000+ current NY Metro students, I was able to make a difference and be considered an example. I also believe that is not just me being student of the year, I believe that all of us are students of the year, but not everyone has the opportunity to be nominated. I feel honored to represent NFTE students, who make a big difference in our schools and communities.

6. What opportunities have you gotten to be a part of as the Student of The Year?

After being nominated, I was able to meet and network with a wide range of NFTE alums and teachers from all over the world during NFTE’s annual Global Showcase. In addition, I had the opportunity to chat with high ranked staff from companies ranging from Google to MasterCard.

I also had the opportunity to be on NY1 to discuss entrepreneurship, and be seen live on TV by friends and 7 million spectators. Recently, I was invited to apply for a business plan competition in Saint Louis, called Angels in the Outfield, and I got selected as one of the 10 finalists! I will be presenting my business, Shine Soaps, in Saint Louis at the end of this month.


 

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We congratulate Carlos on both his Student of the Year recognition and wish him good luck in St. Louis at the Angels in the Outfield competition!

Students in NYC Middle & High Schools Are Invited to Enter the Games for Change Student Competition! Submit a Digital Game by April 1st.

It’s Game On for the @GamesforChange Student Challenge!

Students in NYC, Pittsburgh, and Dallas can now submit games that they’ve made to the 2017 @GamesforChange Student Challenge. Make a digital game about immigrant stories, climate change or future communities for the chance to win prizes from Ubisoft and civic partners. For eligibility info and game-making resources, visit the program website: gamesforchange.org/studentchallenge.

What is Games for Change?

Games for Change is a national game design competition that invites students to create and submit games about issues impacting their communities. Over 1,500 students are participating across all three cities. The Challenge program is run by G4C in partnership with Big Thought in Dallas and The Sprout Fund in Pittsburgh, with support from Best Buy Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities and The New York Community Trust. The program started in NYC in 2015 in collaboration with the NYC Department of Education.

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Student Eligibility

The competition is open to all middle and high school students in NYC, Pittsburgh and Dallas/North Texas public schools. Students can work as individuals or in teams of up to four. Games must be playable on web browser (i.e., Scratch, Unity, Gamestar Mechanic).

How Will the Games be Judged?

Games will be judged by a blue-ribbon jury for game play, creativity and use of theme. An awards ceremony and exhibition of student games will be hosted in each city in June 2017. G4C is assessing students’ improvement in core 21st-century skills during the game design process, in partnership with Institute of Play.

Where Can Games be Submitted?

Students can now submit a game they made by April 1, 2017 here: http://bit.ly/g4cportal. Good luck to all who decide to participate!

GenTech Featured on Daily News!

Original article was featured on the Daily News on 5.23.2013 and can be found at http://nydn.us/188BlPs.

NYC GenTech

Calling all future David Karps: the city wants to turn computer whiz kids into tech moguls

Low-income teens will participate in a free tech bootcamp this summer

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013, 11:21 AM

If you think you have your own little David Karp living under your roof, take note.

A free city program aimed at training tech geniuses like the 26-year-old Tumblr founder and Bronx High School of Science dropout, who just sold his company to Yahoo for $1.1 billion, is currently accepting applications.

Now in its second year, NYC Generation Tech will offer 45 kids from low-income city high schools, eight weeks of tech training, hands-on learning and mentorship.

The program, developed by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the New York City Economic Development Corp. (NYCEDC), culminates in a demo day, when a winning team will present its app to panel of judges, made up of local tech bigwigs. Winners share a $5,000 prize.

“It’s such a cool event,” said Ben Branham, executive vice president at NYCECD. “You see 15 and 16-year-olds presenting as if they were pitching a real business.”

Altaf Lakhi, a 17-year-old junior at the High School of Computers and Technology in the Bronx, was on the winning team last year.

Their app, Skoobrik, helps students organize their schoolwork digitally.

“One of our mentors taught us how to code,” said Lakhi, whose parents were born in India. “We met every Saturday at Starbucks.”

Altaf said he decided to become a software programmer after attending the program and hopes to work for “a big company in New York.”

A key highlight for him was meeting Karp, one of the demo day judges. “It was honor, it was awesome,” Altaf said.

To be eligible for NYC Generation Tech, students must attend a school where at least half of the student body gets free or reduced rate lunch.

The deadline for applications is June 7 at 5 p.m. A background in tech is not required, though applicants should demonstrate a real interest in the sector, Branham said.

Applications are being accepted at nycgenerationtech.com.