Meet some of the inspiring young people who found their paths to success through NFTE in the Baltimore/Washington Metro area.

Zoey W.
Deja au Vintage
Baltimore, MD
NFTE Class of 2013

At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Asia, Zoey, and their classmates sat down in what they thought was going to be another finance class.  Instead they were introduced to the NFTE program. Neither Asia nor Zoey imagined that a few months later, they would earn recognition both inside and outside of Baltimore for their business plans.  Both students competed at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and were recognized by the Mayor’s Office on Minority and Women-Owned Business Development. Additionally, Asia had the opportunity to shadow Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake as Mayor for the Day. 

Zoey’s business, Deja au Vintage, focused on ‘upcycling’ jeans.  She was inspired to create her business after hearing many of her friends complain that they couldn’t find jeans that expressed their style.  Realizing that everyone had ‘vintage’ clothes that they wanted to keep, but were no longer in style, Zoey dedicated her business to refurbishing old jeans using stylish trends.  In May 2013, Zoey placed second in the NFTE Baltimore city wide competition and advanced to the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City. While she didn’t place at nationals, she was pleased that she was able to participate in the final competition and receive feedback from judges to help incorporate into her business idea. 

Zoey says that “NFTE taught me about business and the steps and tools that you need.  It taught me to think like an entrepreneur.”  Zoey graduated from Forest Park High School in June 2014 and will be furthering her education at Baltimore City Community College.  Her business continues to thrive and her designer creations are featured at Krush, a store in downtown Baltimore where she is also an assistant manager.  

 

Asia McCallum
Fortunate!
Baltimore, MD
NFTE Class of 2013

Asia’s business, Fortunate!, was a wholesale business that provided jumbo fortune cookies in diverse shapes, flavors, colors and messages.Asia describes herself as a serial entrepreneur with a love of philanthropy and social responsibility. Thanks to the NFTE class, her world has expanded and her eyes opened to many news professional opportunities. “My generation praises mediocrity or basic ideas but bashes those that show genius and vision. I am a potential revolutionary with a gift, not just another person with a hobby and lack of ingenuity trying to make money.”Today, Asia no longer operates Fortunate!. Instead she focuses her efforts on operating The Optimistic Party, a nonprofit she created after receiving a grant from Youth Service America. Asia graduated Forest Park High School in June 2014 as the valedictorian.  Asia has also been selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar – a scholarship program that selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.  Asia will use her scholarship to attend MICA in the fall.  Additionally, Asia has received several other scholarships including the National Horatio Alger Scholarship and Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship.

 

Dagim Girma
TheAudible.net
Alexandria, VA
NFTE Class of 2013

Dagim Girma, who immigrated to America from Ethiopia in 1996 with his family, was always interested in being an entrepreneur.  As a child he tried to help out his struggling family with ventures from a lemonade stand to creating and selling comic books.

Taking the NFTE class made Dagim realize he could be a "real" entrepreneur even at a young age.  "NFTE provides you with opportunities and experiences you can't find anywhere else.  It helps you understand more about yourself and skills you were unaware of."

Now, Dagim is the creator of The Audible, a social network and sports website where high school and college-aged fans can both read the latest in sports news and also interact with their peers.  The Audible currently has a staff of over 50 writers contributing to the page, and garners over 6000 unique visitors a month.

Dagim currently attends Babson College where he is studying Entrepreneurship with a minor in Computer Science. His long term plans include getting his M.B.A. from Harvard University in Business Management. He strives to one day own and operate a technology related Fortune 500 company. Dagim wants to revolutionize business, specifically in the personal electronics industry. He also wants to continue his work in the sports industry, hoping to further the partnership of sports and technology.

Visit The Audible!

Chanté Goodwin
YourWay IT Solutions, LLC
Forestville, MD
NFTE Class of 2005

Chanté Goodwin is the Owner and CEO of Your Way IT Solutions, LLC. She is an alumnus of The George Washington University majoring in Management Information Systems. Chanté credits NFTE’s entrepreneurship class in 2005 for teaching her the valuable business skills she uses still, such as how to write and present a business plan. 

While attending The George Washington University, Chanté won second place in the “Pitch George” elevator pitch competition. She has had the opportunity to speak at the Inc. 500 annual conference where she was the youngest of the selected entrepreneurs who spoke about their successful businesses. In 2009 Chanté was name a “2009 Growing Up CEO” and was awarded at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) top 100 businesses gala. Chanté was also a 2009 East Coast Regional Finalist in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards business plan competition where she had the opportunity to present her business plan at the New York Stock Exchange.
Chanté is now ITIL v3 certified and has over 10 years of IT and business management expertise. She has held positions ranging from help desk intern to Service Desk Coordinator helping companies to improve their service desk from top to bottom and obtain industry certifications such as ISO 20000 and 27001.


Visit the YourWay IT Solutions site!

Zoey W.
Deja au Vintage
Baltimore, MD
NFTE Class of 2013

At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, Asia, Zoey, and their classmates sat down in what they thought was going to be another finance class.  Instead they were introduced to the NFTE program. Neither Asia nor Zoey imagined that a few months later, they would earn recognition both inside and outside of Baltimore for their business plans.  Both students competed at the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and were recognized by the Mayor’s Office on Minority and Women-Owned Business Development. Additionally, Asia had the opportunity to shadow Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake as Mayor for the Day. 

Zoey’s business, Deja au Vintage, focused on ‘upcycling’ jeans.  She was inspired to create her business after hearing many of her friends complain that they couldn’t find jeans that expressed their style.  Realizing that everyone had ‘vintage’ clothes that they wanted to keep, but were no longer in style, Zoey dedicated her business to refurbishing old jeans using stylish trends.  In May 2013, Zoey placed second in the NFTE Baltimore city wide competition and advanced to the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City. While she didn’t place at nationals, she was pleased that she was able to participate in the final competition and receive feedback from judges to help incorporate into her business idea. 

Zoey says that “NFTE taught me about business and the steps and tools that you need.  It taught me to think like an entrepreneur.”  Zoey graduated from Forest Park High School in June 2014 and will be furthering her education at Baltimore City Community College.  Her business continues to thrive and her designer creations are featured at Krush, a store in downtown Baltimore where she is also an assistant manager.  

 

Asia McCallum
Fortunate!
Baltimore, MD
NFTE Class of 2013

Asia’s business, Fortunate!, was a wholesale business that provided jumbo fortune cookies in diverse shapes, flavors, colors and messages.Asia describes herself as a serial entrepreneur with a love of philanthropy and social responsibility. Thanks to the NFTE class, her world has expanded and her eyes opened to many news professional opportunities. “My generation praises mediocrity or basic ideas but bashes those that show genius and vision. I am a potential revolutionary with a gift, not just another person with a hobby and lack of ingenuity trying to make money.”Today, Asia no longer operates Fortunate!. Instead she focuses her efforts on operating The Optimistic Party, a nonprofit she created after receiving a grant from Youth Service America. Asia graduated Forest Park High School in June 2014 as the valedictorian.  Asia has also been selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar – a scholarship program that selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.  Asia will use her scholarship to attend MICA in the fall.  Additionally, Asia has received several other scholarships including the National Horatio Alger Scholarship and Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship.