The Coleman Entrepreneurial Scholarship Program
2012 Scholarship Recipients
Belma Ahmetovic – Babson College
NFTE at Sport & Medical Sciences Academy, Hartford, CT
When Belma was just a few months old, she and her parents were forced to flee their village in Bosnia after it came under attack, ultimately settling in Hartford. During high school, Belma and Zermina Velic, also a Bosnian immigrant, took a NFTE class; in their research, they discovered that 90% of Bosnian households in Hartford owned one or more computers that needed an average of four repairs annually. The two founded Beta Bytes, a foreign language and cultural based computer repair service. Both already experienced in computer repair, Belma and Zermina became officially certified. Beta Bytes quickly grew and there was high demand for their services in the Bosnian community of 15,000. Belma is now a sophomore at Babson College, where she is majoring in entrepreneurship.
Jordan Anderson – University of Houston
NFTE at David W. Carter High School, Dallas, TX
During his NFTE course, Jordan developed Weeds & &More, an eco—friendly weed control and lawn care business. Jordan’s business took off and he has been running it ever since. Jordan enjoys both his business success and how it allows him to help others. With five current part-time employees, Jordan has been able to create jobs for other teens and share with them the lessons that he learned from NFTE. This fall, Jordan will begin his freshman year at the University of Houston, where he plans to major in psychology.
Jessica Cervantes – University of Miami
NFTE at John A. Ferguson High School, Miami, FL
At six years old, Jessica and her parents fled Cuba to settle in Miami. Growing up with tight family finances, Jessica was motivated to take advantage of the opportunities around her and reach her full potential. When Jessica took a NFTE course at her high school, she combined this determination with her love of baking and developed a business plan for PopsyCakes, a business to sell cupcakes on edible cookie sticks. Jessica’s business plan helped her win NFTE’s 2008 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. Jessica has since opened and grown her business with remarkable success, with her products sold in over 50 venues throughout Florida. Jessica is now a microbiology major at the University of Miami.
Shirley Choicer – Harvard College
NFTE at Prep for Prep, New York, NY
When she took a NFTE course during the summer of 2009, Shirley created Layers of a Keepsake (LOAK), an online-based customized photo keepsake company. LOAK transforms its customers’ special photos by stacking multiple layers of the same photograph, creating a “popped-out” effect which emphasizes different people, objects, and landscapes in the image. Shirley is still running LOAK today, enjoying both the creative outlet of transforming her customers’ photos and the day to day of managing her business. Shirley’s business has also allowed her to support a cause that she believes in: LOAK donates 33% of all profits to Vietnam Friendship Village, a non-profit which offers care and education to Vietnamese children and teens affected by Agent Orange. This fall, Shirley will begin her freshman year at Harvard College.
Stephanie Debora – California State University, Northridge
NFTE at Ouchi High School, Los Angeles, CA
Before taking NFTE in school, Stephanie had no idea what she wanted to study when she went off to college. Once she took NFTE, however, she realized how interested in entrepreneurship and went on to study Business Management at California State University in Northridge. In ten years, Stephanie sees herself possibly having attended culinary school and being one step closer to opening her NFTE business, a build-your-own cupcake shop.
Vernave Medrano – DeVry University
NFTE at CSU-Fresno, Fresno, CA
When Vernave took a NFTE course during his senior year of high school, he channeled his passion for pottery into a handmade pottery business, Vernave’s Pottery. Vernave’s Pottery sells custom pieces, and Vernave donates 5% of his net profits to the American Stroke Foundation. In 2011, Vernave was named Fresno Chamber of Commerce High School Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Now a junior at De Vry University, Vernave is majoring in Business Administration and minoring in art. He plans to attend law school after college and ultimately become a judge.
Annabella Pardo – LIM College
NFTE at John A. Ferguson High School, Miami, FL
During Annabella’s NFTE course, she created a service to help clean and de-clutter spaces in order to provide a calm haven for clients to work. Although she is no longer running that business, NFTE has allowed Annabella to realize and achieve her dreams in other ways. Annabella recently moved to New York City to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which she considers the most admirable achievement thus far in her life, both professionally and personally. NFTE influenced her choice in school selection and major, Fashion Merchandise Management, by assuring her that business is a concept she excels at, and organization and arrangement of attire and merchandise is a fine concept for her to manage. She is so grateful to be able to attend the school of her dreams in one of the most magnificent cities in the world.
Rayneese Primrose – Fashion Institute of Technology
NFTE at Suitland High School, Forestville, MD
Before taking NFTE in 2006, Rayneese was an art student with no knowledge of how to make a living off of her art. Now, with studies in Fashion Design at Pratt Institute under her belt, she designs for private clients under her own name, while also working as a costume tedchinician at the Metropolitan Opera House during the day. Rayneese is currently attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, studying textiles, and plans to pursue a Master of Arts program in Fashion and Textile Studies at F.I.T. as well. Rayneese has also won several awards for her work and worked on the costumes for Broadway’s Spideman: Turn Off The Dark.
Vincent Quigg – Rio Hondo College
NFTE at Downey High School, Downey, CA
TechWorld is Vincent’s personal electronics repair and customization service, specializing in Apple products. He had seen customers at Best Buy, where he has worked for the past two years, with broken devices and knowing that for many people their phone is 100% of their day, there is a definite market for repair. Vincent was the grand prize winner of this year’s National Youth Entrepreneur Challenge and attends Rio Hondo College.
Hilary Small – Temple University
NFTE at George Washington High School, Philadelphia, PA
As a NFTE student in 2009, Hilary recalled her childhood speech impediment which caused her to spend years in speech therapy as a child. Hilary soon realized that she could build a business to help children in this same situation and she devised “Speechopoly,” a board game for children with speech impediments. Speechopoly is aimed to accompany children through speech therapy and make the process more enjoyable and engaging. Hilary is currently updating her game with a new design layout, and she plans to have a revised prototype by early next year. Hilary is a rising junior at Temple University, where she is studying Advertising and Marketing.