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Big Apple bound!

WINTON – Students in the Virtual Enterprise class of C.S. Brown STEM High School arrived Monday morning dressed in their best business suits, looking the part of young entrepreneurs and expecting a regular day. They left, however, with some unexpectedly happy news.

Daphne Lee, the teacher who conducts the Virtual Enterprise class, announced to her students on Feb. 17 they’d received a scholarship to attend the 2020 Youth Business Summit in Brooklyn, NY later this year.

She made the surprise announcement during a special session where the students were giving presentations to their schoolmates about what they’ve learned in the class so far. Lee passed around coupons to a Brooklyn-based restaurant and then let them know the good news.

The class erupted into cheers.

“There’s still a lot of work that we have to do, still a lot of plans we have to make,” Lee reminded everyone after she congratulated the class.

Virtual Enterprise students at C.S. Brown STEM High School in Winton pose with their teacher, principal and superintendent after learning of the scholarships they received to attend the 2020 Youth Business Summit in Brooklyn, NY later this year. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

This is the second year the school has received a scholarship to enable the class to attend the annual summit in New York. It will cover their airfare and hotel expenses for the four-day event in April.

“When they get to New York, they’re going to be in competition with students not only from the United States but across the world,” Lee explained. “They’ve already made transactions with students from Japan, China, and Belgium.”

The Youth Business Summit is a global convention that gathers young students with entrepreneurial spirit together to attend leadership sessions, compete in different competitions, and display the skills they’ve garnered on running a business.

The Virtual Enterprise class has prepared the students for the experience because, since the beginning of the school year, they’ve been building a simulated company from scratch. Each student takes on a role in the company such as the Human Resources Director and the Chief Operating Officer.

“Millennium is the name of their business, and they sell clothing,” Lee said.

She continued on to explain the goal of the class, saying, “the whole business process is teaching them how to be an entrepreneur. At the end of the class, they will know how to run a business from start to finish. And they can see how it works in the real world.”

Lee said she’s been teaching the Virtual Enterprise class for the past three years, and she absolutely loves it.

Hertford County School Superintendent Dr. William Wright and C.S. Brown Principal Bobbie Jones both said the trip will be an excellent opportunity for the students.

“There’s no education like getting out and exploring the world,” Dr. Wright told the students after the announcement. “You can learn a lot in the classroom, but those opportunities to show what you can do and make yourselves better is absolutely a dream come true. I’m proud of you.”

Jones also expressed his pride in the students and faculty for doing such an outstanding job.

“This is our second year, so we’re looking forward to great things in the future,” he said. “We’re teaching them now what they’ll need to be successful once they get out of here.”

“We want to make sure they realize it’s not just about test scores, but it’s about real life,” Jones concluded.