Academy Students Earn First Place In Vermont Entrepreneurship Week Competition


The St. Johnsbury Academy Entrepreneurship Team of Barron Devoe, Yi-Kuan “Grace” Nieh, Samantha Mason and Phuc “Patrick” Nguyen.

Four St. Johnsbury Academy students were selected as first place winners in the 2013 Vermont Entrepreneurship high school and technical center Visual Media Competition, held Feb. 7 in Montpelier. This year's theme was "Promoting Entrepreneurial Education in Our Schools."

Created by juniors Barron Devoe, a boarding student from New York; Samantha Mason of Passumpsic, Yi-Kuan "Grace" Nieh from Taiwan, and senior Phuc "Patrick" Nguyen from Vuietnam, the winning video is a 60-second clip highlighting entrepreneurship education by spotlighting area entrepreneurs. Laurel Butler, an area business adviser and Start Up specialist with the Vermont Small Business Development Center, said of the winning video, "Everyone was so in awe and delighted with [the SJA] student video -- it is absolutely amazing! It is always a pleasure to have [Academy] students and teachers participate and join in the event."

The video will also be used to promote future Vermont Entrepreneurship Weeks, said Academy Business teacher Sarah Emery, who provided guidance for the students as they developed the video.

This is the third year of the competition, which included eight participating schools, and over 230 people attended the celebration in Montpelier. Motivational speaker, writer and comedian Colin was the keynote speaker, and the Governor's Proclamation of Vermont Entrepreneurship Week followed. The celebration continued with students, legislators, state/local service providers and entrepreneurs sharing lively business round table discussions over lunch followed by an afternoon for adult entrepreneurs (start-up to existing) to air questions and share information on topics such as marketing, financing, social media and more.

The Vermont celebration was sponsored by Johnson State College, Vermont Career and Technical Center Student Organizations (CTSO) Small Business Administration, and Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, Vermont Small Business Development Center, Champlain College BYOBiz, Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, Vermont Commission on Women, Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development, the Vermont Women's Business Center and others.


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