Two Holy Trinity seniors are packing their bags and heading to New York to pitch their business concepts at the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on October 16. 

Gabriel Sheikh will pitch the business he’s called Presistant, a sophisticated self-improvement app for those looking to enhance their presentation skills. By using a mobile phone’s existing features and the app’s software, anyone can measure their skills and improve as a presenter. Gabriel took first place in the Chicago Metro Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on May 21, 2019, securing his spot in the national competition.

Aaron Trinidad is the creator of Lender, an app that pairs non-profit organizations with volunteers. Combining a fun, swipe-based interface with volunteering, the app easily pairs volunteers with non-profits based on interests. Aaron took second place at the Chicago Metro challenge.

Gabriel and Aaron will be competing for seed capital that can be used to grow a business or pursue educational goals. Up for grabs is $25,000 in awards from NFTE plus another $15,000 in prize money from the David D. Smith Family Foundation for a total of $42,000!

These students began their journey to Nationals during the 2018-2019 school year, when they first presented their business plans and pitches in the NFTE/Corporate Experience class, taught by Angela Miceli. After competing against their classmates and then students from across the Chicago metro area in regionals, they’re advancing to the national quarterfinals and semifinals where they will once again be presenting their businesses to judging panels. Thirty-seven students presenting 28 different business plans are heading to New York.

Beyond the competition, participating in this process has also helped prepare both Gabriel and Aaron for their future college and career experiences. This past summer, Gabriel was one of five Holy Trinity students awarded a paid internship through Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine’s GoKidney SciHigh program. Through Holy Trinity’s Friends for a Future program, Aaron interviewed for and was awarded a paid internship at Ryan Specialty Group.

This is the seventh year Holy Trinity has taught the NFTE curriculum and competed in the competition, and Aaron and Gabriel are the 3rd and 4th Tigers in our school history to go to nationals. Additionally, 2019 represents the third consecutive year Tigers have made it to nationals and the first time HT swept regionals.

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