Merced County Times Newspaper
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Dos Palos ROP class wins grant to attend N.Y. youth summit

Jenny Hunger's Virtual Enterprise class at Dos Palos High School was one of four classes selected in the nation for the HSBC Bank Opportunity Fund Grant, which awards an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Youth Business Summit in April hosted by Virtual Enterprise International.
Jenny Hunger’s Virtual Enterprise class at Dos Palos High School was one of four classes selected in the nation for the HSBC Bank Opportunity Fund Grant, which awards an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Youth Business Summit in April hosted by Virtual Enterprise International.

Jenny Hunger was surprised last Wednesday when her principal and two school board members made an unscheduled visit to her Virtual Enterprise class at Dos Palos High School.

She was even more surprised when the Western Regional Director for Virtual Enterprise International walked into her classroom at Dos Palos High School and announced that Hunger’s class was one of four selected in the nation for an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Youth Business Summit in April hosted by Virtual Enterprise International thanks to the HSBC Bank Opportunity Fund Grant.

“We are completely shocked and honored to receive this award,” said the Dos Palos High School ROP business teacher. “When you know only four schools in the nation are selected, who would have guessed Dos Palos would be one! This opportunity will allow my students to experience the business world outside of the classroom and give them understanding of the various business practices from around the globe. We really can’t thank HSBC Bank enough for providing this opportunity to our students.”

Hunger teaches four Business & Finance CTE courses at Dos Palos High and has taught the Virtual Enterprise course for 10 years where students have operated virtual businesses, including iScream, Hydrus, Hoof Prints and Sweet Shack.

Her class created a video for the HSBC Bank Opportunity Grant Fund competition highlighting the small town of Dos Palos, how important agriculture is to the local economy and why the students created Sweet Shack, their virtual business. Student CEO Jennifer Aguilar’s voiceover during the video explains that the students are limited in how many competitions they can attend due to funding and how students learn public speaking skills and collaborate with industry partners who serve as mentors through the course.

“Students are engaged in hands-on learning by working in simulated real world jobs. Industry partners are encouraged to help ensure students are learning relevant workplace skills for today’s environment and The Morning Star Packing Company has been an exceptional industry partner,” Hunger said.

Hunger’s Virtual Enterprise class earned first place on the tradeshow booth, gold on the newsletter, silver on the branding and ninth place on the business plan at the California State Virtual Enterprise Conference in Bakersfield earlier In January. In past years, the course has earned a multitude of awards.

“We are proud of how our Dos Palos students worked hard to earn this recognition,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “Jenny Hunger’s Virtual Enterprise class is a great example of how educators are preparing students for the real-world of business and leadership.”

With an emphasis on college and career readiness, virtual enterprise is an in-school, live, global business simulation that offers students a competitive edge through project-based, collaborative learning and the development of 21st-century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem-solving, communication, personal finance and technology.

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