South Pasadena High students from the school’s award-winning virtual business varsity school team, Oasis, have won the national business plan competition.
Janet Anderson, the school’s principal said it’s a huge accomplishment for the Business Plan team, comprised of Jason Wang, Michael Ruan, Timothy Wong, Chelsea Hong, Abby Shulman, and Rachel Newhall.
The victory comes on the heels of South Pasadena High’s second straight state title in Bakersfield last December. With the win, South Pasadena High students headed to New York during spring break with eyes on a bigger prize.
Winning both the state and national titles is a highly prestigious honor for the school.
“National Champions!!!!” South Pasadena High School Principal Janet Anderson sent in a text.
The idea of Oasis was created in the virtual business classroom by the varsity team, which includes 35 students, both seniors and juniors. The students create their business in the fall, and then form their management structure, with four chief officers leading the team and personnel made up of vice presidents, directors, and specialists. The virtual company, Oasis, is a rooftop garden company. It’s mission is to provide the opportunity to practice environmental responsibility, healthy living, and community vitality through the cultivation of sustainable rooftop gardens.
To prepare for this special competition, members of the Business Plan Team came together in early October, trying out for positions. Once the team was announced, the classroom instruction and direction was focused on completing the business plan – the analysis, research, marketing, finance, and technology were all completed by the 35 students in the class. The outcome of the business plan is dependent on the team work of the class, but the Business plan team is only represented by six members, to provide the 12- minute oral presentation, with a PowerPoint presentation as the visual aide.
The students have worked on this plan, on their own time outside of school, in excess of 300 hours each. The support of alumni were evident in December as the first advisory board was hosted, after winning state championship, while SPHS alumni were on winter break. Sixteen virtual business alumni arrived in the classroom to watch the presentation and to give their feedback. The strong alumni includes more than 35 individuals, and the group works with the varsity students to critique their business plan and offer suggestions for this prestigious competition. In between these efforts, the class is busy preparing for the Long Beach and Bay Area Trade Fairs and competitions, while also planning and carrying out fundraising efforts for this venture.
In early January, another advisory board was held with community members and more alumni, to once again review the California State Championship presentation, to advise and make changes for the national competition. The students have also had individual advisory boards with community members – one on one, for specific areas, and they have worked extensively with Maurice DiMino, award winning speaker and author of “The Art of Public Speaking,” who has mentored the students in public speaking and presentation skills. The business plan team also presented at the SPHS PTSA forum meeting last Monday evening.
The students will take all of their skills, talents, and well- wishes to Manhattan, as they represent South Pasadena High School in the virtual enterprise Youth Business Summit, sponsored by New York Life.
The National Business Plan Competition, one of the most prestigious and rigorous annual business plan competitions for public high school students, is a competition that challenges Virtual Enterprise International students from across the country to demonstrate their global business expertise through written business plans and oral presentations.
The competition showcases best practices, rewards excellence, and trains high school students to apply sophisticated knowledge and skills attributed to business professionals and college students.