Winner, 2008 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
PopsyCakes  was founded by Jessica Cervantes when she decided to create an innovative cupcake on an edible stick in 2006 at the age of 16. Ever since her grandmother taught her how to bake, Jessica has loved measuring and tasting different ingredients - and mixing them up to see how her culinary creations would turn out. But it wasn't until Jessica became a part of the International Business and Finance Academy at John A. Ferguson Senior High school, that baking and business came together in a brand new recipe for success.
Jessica is now a student at the University of Miami, managing both her business and studies. She is currently majoring in Biomedical Engineering. She has hired a management team to continue to grow the company, and 5% of our profits are donated to NFTE so other students can get the same support that Jessica received.
|South Miami Basketball Academy
At age 14, Andres Cardona recognized the lack of affordable options for youth to improve their basketball skills in South Miami. Andres loved the game so much he decided to start South Miami Basketball academy, where he teaches the fundamentals of the game of basketball. It all began when Andres joined the NFTE program after his mother lost her job, and decided he was going to help the family financially. After a lot of hard work and with support from NFTE, Andres’s academy’s launch was so successful a competitor quickly wanted to buy it! Andres, however, had no interest in selling his business, as he wants to continue to let kids who have had trauma in their lives have an accessible outlet.
Currently, he attends Florida International University double majoring in finance and marketing. Andres recently launched his second business, PublicizeUs.com , to help small businesses develop websites and eCommerce.
| Jason Delgado Photography
3rd place, Miami Herald Student Business Challenge
Combining his passion for cars and photography, Jasen Delgado created AutoMotionPhoto , an automotive photography service. What originally started as a lifelong passion and hobby for photographing luxury vehicles quickly turned into a full-fledged business. As Jasen gained experience as a photographer and honed is digital editing skills, Jasen began to attract his first clients. Jasen’s first client, Autosport USA, a pre-owned luxury car dealership in Delray Beach, gave Jasen enough capital to purchase a Nikon DSLR camera, a necessity for professional photography. Over the next year, Jasen continued to build AutoMotionPhoto by attending trade shows and sending out direct mailings. The hard work paid off, and Jasen now has established customers ranging from dealerships such as The Collection and Xotic Dream Cars to Kartier Forged, a high-end wheel manufacturer.
Today, Jasen remains fully committed to his company, now operating under the name Jasen Delgado Photography, and is committed to continuing to build his brand’s reputation.
Winner, 2012 South Florida Regional Youth BizPlan Challenge
Jhasir Bermudez is a diligent 17 year-old who works 30 hours a week to help support his family, while staying in the top 1% of his class. He has always been inspired by his mother, who is an expert seamstress and taught Jhasir how to sew. When Jhasir enrolled in the NFTE class, he immediately saw an opportunity to develop his talent for sewing and design into a full-fledged business. Responding to the market for chemical-free children’s clothing, he developed Prasinos Princess, a business manufacturing organic cotton dresses for young girls.
Since winning the competition, he recently attended NFTE’s Start Up Summer Camp where he received further coaching, support, and mentorship as he prepares for NFTE’s national competition in October, 2012.
|Live Design Styles
Channeling his passion for designing t-shirts into digital graphic and web design, Darnel Skepple launched Live Style Designs. Darnel got his start by designing custom T-shirts for other students at his high school, and developed his unique 3-D graphic design style, which learned to apply to web design. Darnell credits his success to being inspired throughout the development of his business by his NFTE teacher, Ray Parris, who teaches graphic design at North Miami Beach Senior High School.
Currently, Darnel works for Apple, attends Miami Dade College, and is a partner at CSTS Promotions
|Daniel McVay Productions
2nd Place, 2009 South Florida Regional Youth BizPlan Challenge
Over a summer when few teens could find jobs, Daniel McVay made $6,300 doing what he loves most- DJing. Daniel discovered his talent for DJing in 7th grade, when the DJ his middle school had hired for a dance didn’t show up. Daniel plugged two iPods into speakers and saved the day. Over the years Daniel developed his DJ skills as a hobby, and it wasn’t until he entered NFTE’s program did he begin to see its potential as a business. “NFTE has taught me that with desire, guidance and hard work, you can become an entrepreneur and create your own job. Without NFTE I would not have spent any time or effort to pursue SCRATCH as a viable business.”
Currently, Daniel attends FIU and is studying nursing & law. His company, now operating under the name Daniel McVay Productions, has expanded with a couple new artists.
Lang has a powerful vision for the future, which continues to inspire and motivate him. His business, BizMan Promotions promotes parties, weddings, and small companies through flyers, brochures and online services. In the past he has received negative feedback from family and friends, but he says the NFTE program has helped him believe in himself.
Today, he attends Miami Dade College, works for Apple, and is a partner at CSTS Promotions.