WOHS virtual enterprise team wins prizes at competition

Photo Courtesy of WOSD
The high school’s virtual enterprise team takes first and third places at a Jan. 14 competition.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange High School virtual enterprise team Zo was awarded first place for sales and third place for their business plan at the Virtual Enterprise International Competition held Jan. 14 at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Team Zo’s virtual product line includes olive oil-based hair and skin care products, attractively packaged and advertised on their website, https://zoincnj.wixsite.com/zolive. The site even includes a mock order form, special bundle pricing, and detailed information on the benefits of olive oil, not only for skin and hair, but for diet, lifestyle and overall health. 

As a result of the ongoing success of the virtual enterprise program at West Orange High School, Team Zo currently boasts a number of acknowledgments, including being named in the top 100 firms in network; being in the top 10 percent in the Firm Branding Package Competition; and receiving honorable mention in the Firm Pitch Competition.

Students find the course challenging, yet fun and fulfilling. 

“VE has given me more public speaking experience and confidence than I ever had or could probably get from a traditional classroom setting,” saidsenior Samantha Rhew, Zo CEO.

“I like the positive environment and even though we are all different learners and all have different skills we make a great team,” said senior Samara Charles, ZO creative team associate.

Business teacher Maria Frangos is the VE course coordinator and leads team ZO, integrating traditional learning with cutting-edge strategies to run a realistic virtual business on an international level. 

“No other course I know of is like VE. Stepping into our VE classroom is more like stepping into a startup business with 16 entrepreneurs rather than walking into a traditional classroom,” supervisor of career education and library science Nancy Mullin said. “The energy and desire to succeed is electric and makes the challenges of the course worthwhile.

“I am tremendously proud of the students and Ms. Frangos for once again making WOHS a strong contender in the state competitions based on the accomplishments of Zo,” she continued. “Winning first place in sales and third place in the business plan competition in the state is a huge undertaking. Our success wouldn’t be possible without our business mentors from the West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the support we receive from the West Orange Education Foundation, as well as Mayor Parisi and the support of the BOE.”

Team Zo will next compete in the Virtual Enterprise International competitions at the Staten Island Trade Fair and the International Trade Fair.

Business plan presentation team members are Maria Winning, Emily Baker, Rheanna Daniel, Samantha Rhew and Ismail Taylor; upon completing the business plan, these students then worked with the sales team, which comprises Andrea Kendrick, Iwinosa Obasuyi, Jonathan Salazar, Herva Kana, Samara Charles, Amiri Wilson, Mya Coleman, Justin Vera, Adam Portilla, Schmidt Norelus and Anne Innocent.