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Program Helps Baltimore Students Hone Their Business Skills

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Monique Griego 370x278 Monique Griego
Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– They may only be in high school but a group of Baltimore students is already on their way toward becoming young entrepreneurs.

Monique Griego has more on the impact of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) program.

She may still be in high school, but Dasia Matthews is already a sought after fashion designer.

Griego: “People at school, what do they say when they see your stuff?”
Matthews: “Wow, Dasia, can you make me something?”

A teacher who noticed Matthews’ talent for customizing her own clothes told her to she was perfect for NFTE, a program that teaches students the basics of being a business owner.

“Why businesses work. Why businesses don’t work. How to deal with money, math,” explained Corey Basmajian, who teaches NFTE.

The Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology is one of several Baltimore schools using NFTE.

“It’s very different. It’s getting us ready for the world, basically real careers,” Matthews said.

When coming up with their ideas many students pick things they’re already passionate about, like makeup and fashion.

From video game software to homemade candy and jewelry, students are encouraged to get creative.

“It’s amazing some of the ideas they come up with, how detailed they are,” Basmajian said.

The students first compete against each other, then against other schools before a national competition in New York City.

But even if they don’t win, for many, just displaying their talent is the real reward.

“It wows people what I can do because they never saw my potential,” Rache’ Jones, an NFTE student, said.

This is NFTE’S 10th year as a program in Baltimore schools.

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