After historic wins in California, Ridgeview Virtual Enterprise takes on Wall Street
BAKERSFIELD, CA (KGETComment) – For Ridgeview High’s Virtual Enterprise Class, cross-country airfare is anything but business as usual.
“Nerves will probably hit me the day before, like on the plane ride,” said senior Alexsandra Lochridge. “Once we get to New York, I’ll be like, ‘Wow, this is real. “”
Ten Ridgeview students are heading to Wall Street next month to pitch their simulated companies to real investors. For a program historically overshadowed by area powerhouses like Bakersfield and Centennial High Schools, history feels good.
“This is the first time Bakersfield has sent two schools to New York,” Virtual Enterprise coach Miguel Garcia said. “This is the first time in California history that a school has sent the number one and two ranked schools to New York. It means a lot.”
During his two years at Ridgeview, Garcia transformed a program that failed to compete with the state for a decade. He gives all the credit to his students.
“People congratulate me on our success,” Garcia said. “But as I always tell them, kids make it look like I know what I’m doing. I really have the best children.
These kids created two award-winning virtual businesses this year. There’s Nature’s Canvas…
“Nature’s Canvas is essentially a one-stop art supply store,” said Mickayla Esparza, senior. “We sell products that are completely environmentally friendly.”
…and Toys and Tails.
“We’re basically a one-stop luxury dog boutique,” Lochridge said.
Both teams will be pitching their business plans and marketing tactics to schools across the country in New York City, and understandably, nerves are on edge.
“It’s been stressful, but it’s also very rewarding,” said elder Ivan Barajas.
Ask any VE student what the best part of the trip was, and you’ll get the same answer.
“Being able to do all of this with my friends,” Barajas said.
“My team members are really my best friends now,” Esparza said.
Senior Janae Hutson said, “The best part is just being able to go through all the emotions and build something from scratch with my best friends.”
The national show kicks off in New York on April 2. It has been almost two decades since a team represented Ridgeview on Wall Street.