Taking care of business

On May, 27, senior Gabriel Garcia expresses his feelings about all his hard work on his business presentation. “Do what you love and the money will come,” Garcia said. “It was a pretty awesome feeling knowing that all my hard work paid off.”

Sophie prettyman, Staff Writer

In April, Downey High School students from Mrs. Hernandez’s Business and Entrepreneurship classes competed in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Greater Los Angeles competition. One of these students, senior Gabriel Garcia, won a prize of $100 in the first round of the competition and advanced to the next level.


NFTE Greater Los Angeles is a competition that starts in April and continues into the summer, in which students in Los Angeles schools can develop a business idea and pitch their plan in order to win a $25,000 prize to help make that plan a reality. Garcia decided to compete because he thought it would be a great opportunity to get a head start with his business experience since he plans to be a Business major in college.


“My business plan was adventure tourism with mountain bikes,” Garcia said. “Bikes have played a huge role in my life ever since I was young; it helps keep the brain sane. I figured I’d share my passion with the world.”

To prepare to present his pitch to the judges, Garcia wrote out and memorized what he was going to say. In addition to that, he spent hours working on his body language, tone of voice, and overall image.

Garcia’s friends knew of his involvement in NFTE and supported him as he went through the process.


“I know biking is Gabriel’s passion,” Hannah Felix, a senior and one of his friends, said. “He’s always been a go-getter and I’m happy he got as far as he did.”



According to Garcia, the presentation went very well; the judges told him that he was professional, presented at a college level, and even asked when he would have his business up and running.


During the competition experience, Garcia developed stronger bonds with his fellow competitors, like senior Brittney Martinez.

“With Gabriel, we were competing against each other, but we became great friends,” Martinez said. “We supported and encouraged each other throughout it all.”


Garcia recalls the next level of the competition being more competitive and interesting, but he did not advance past that. Despite that, he is grateful for the experience and believes that it will benefit him in the long run, along with the preparation from his Business teacher.


“My teacher is so incredibly awesome, she has such a positive attitude and knows so much,” Garcia said. “She actually persuaded me to try the program out and I couldn’t have been happier that I did. Shout out to Mrs. Hernandez for being the best Business teacher I know.”

Garcia recommends competing in NFTE to any student who is motivated to become their own boss and wishes to start a business that they are passionate about.


After his experience as a competitor ended, Garcia invested his prize money in bicycle tools, which will help him with developing his business in the future. He will begin studying Business at the California State University of Sacramento in the Fall and plans to continue to brainstorm business ideas regarding his passions and hopes to make them a reality one day.