JP Taravella High School Students Win First at Business Competition in New York

JP Taravella students Casey McLallen and Shaina Khemrajsingh are first place winners in the International Human Resources Competition.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

As part of the 2018 Virtual Enterprise International Youth Business Summit, held in New York City, JP Taravella High School Business Ownership students took home first place in the International Human Resources Competition.

Through their student-run business, TeaTreat Box Co., JP Taravella seniors Casey McLallen and Shaina Khemrajsingh beat 47 other teen human resources representatives from 13 states and three countries. Under the direction of teacher, Laurie Acosta, McLallen and Khemrajsingh are part of Taravella’s 25-person business simulation class where students start and run a company throughout the year.

JP Taravella teacher Laurie Acosta (front left) with students participating in the Virtual Enterprise International Youth Business Summit in New York City.

From April 16 – 18, the 2018 Virtual Enterprise International Youth Business Summit (VEI) brought together thousands of rising young professionals and budding entrepreneurs from over 40 countries, educators, school/district administrators, business leaders and industry professionals for a one-of-a-kind global convention. During a dynamic two days of business competitions, leadership events, and professional networking, rising talent from middle and high schools around the world displayed the professional skills and business acumen they have developed by running a Virtual Enterprise company during the school year.

Taravella’s virtual company, TeaTreat Box Co., marketed themselves as a Fair Trade Organic Tea Subscription Box.

“When I first started the year, I didn’t really know everything that was involved with human resources. Now I know that it involves much more than just handling the relationships between employees,” said McLallen, the firm’s vice president for human resources.

Her position involved creating the employee manual, developing the employee policies, and creating an employee recognition program. She learned that this was something she really liked and may look into as a future career.

BrightStar Credit Union, who sponsored the group, helped twelve students and three chaperones from Taravella attend the event in New York. In addition to the human resources competition, students participated in the VEI International Trade Show, where they featured a booth they created, and honed their salesmanship skills. Together, they generated more than $10,000 in “virtual” revenue for the firm by “selling” to other students and trade show attendees.

In addition to Taravella, VEI students from Piper and Cooper City High Schools attended the event as well. They are part of a network of more than 500 high schools offering this honors-level program throughout the United States, and nearly 5,000 world-wide.

Virtual Enterprises International is an in-school, live, global business simulation that offers students a competitive edge through project-based, collaborative learning and the development of 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem-solving, communication, personal finance and technology. Student firms are connected to one another through an online portal, where they learn how to complete departmental/individual tasks, manage personal and company finances, communicate with other firms, and market their products or services.

JP Taravella is a Broward County Public School located in Coral Springs, Florida.


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