Aurora and reFAIRe are the new innovative brands representing the virtual enterprise
Virtual Enterprise at Fountain Valley High School gives students insight into the world of business as they build their own brands. Ambitious and curious, the students build their business from scratch.
VE Advisor, Business Professor Sarah McCance, gives students experience, confidence and helps develop their leadership and communication skills.
Aurora and reFAIRe are the brands that VE launched this year. Both are incredibly innovative and eco-friendly.
Senior Nisheille Esposo is Aurora’s General Manager, Period Zero VE. With plastic being a contributor to environmental challenges, Aurora is focused on eliminating this waste in its packaging in fun and unique ways.
“Aurora is an interior design company that conveniently helps customers find their aesthetic,” Esposo said. “We aim to reduce the waste that comes with all packaging, by using environmentally friendly biodegradable materials.”
ReFAIRe is the fourth VE term, which is led by Senior CEO Laura Sabate. Similar to Aurora, reFAIRe aims to reduce plastic waste through its innovative solution to reduce and reuse polyester.
“ReFAIRe is a stuffed animal company that [plans] to rethink the toxic polyester that is made into traditional stuffed animals,” Sabate said. “We use scraps of clothes that would otherwise end up in landfills, to make this new eco-friendly, biodegradable stuffing.”
VE is unlike any other course you can take at FVHS. It is student-based and allows students to fully immerse themselves in the business world.
“It’s very forgiving, but that’s because it’s self-directed by the students and not so much by the teacher,” Sabate said. “It makes the student more confident in their abilities because in Virtual Enterprise we really highlight what everyone is most comfortable working with…it really allows everyone to have their say say and feel truly included in this endeavor.”
The skills learned in a VE course are extremely evident in Aurora and reFAIRe.
McCance, who has overseen VE since 2013, views VE as a program to help anyone prepare for a job and an experience that has many benefits.
“It’s very hands-on and individually managed, so students have to learn this position and compete in this position,” McCance said. “Students not only grow socially and get to know each other, public speaking, but they also get internships, college applications and jobs.”
FVHS VE course students face the challenge of starting work that is new to them, sometimes requiring loans, interviews, and sorting through all departments. However, with McCance’s assurance, students are able to work together and face the challenges and difficulties of starting a business together. They have a certain quality that makes success an infallible possibility.
“Learning a new job on the spot is probably the hardest thing to overcome, but usually by mid-November they’re rolling and they’ve taken care of everything,” McCance said.
Looking ahead, the VE class includes competitions, state and national, with other schools based on the businesses they were able to produce as a team. The class is very focused on student engagement, so with a whole team working together to build their business, their goals are within reach to add to their list of accomplishments.
“Strong goals would be to win in our competitions and hopefully make it to the national championships that are in New York because we missed that opportunity last year,” Sabate said.
Similar to Sabate, Esposo also has the same goal for their business and will continue to strive to achieve them with their team.
“I want to go to the Nationals because I want to go to New York,” Esposo said. “I just want everyone to be really happy in the class, and I know being happy means scoring high.”
With the fate of Aurora and reFAIRe in the hands of the students, many of them are focusing their attention on skills to be learned within the classroom.
“I hope they gain confidence, learn the skills to work together, talk to each other, make tough decisions [and] being able to learn a bit more about every aspect of working in a company,” McCance said.
Because VE is important to McCance and her students, the experience alone is a great opportunity and worth every minute.
It’s something students can choose to do and a responsibility that really requires passion and interest.
“It’s pretty much what you put in, it’s what you get out of it,” McCance said. “So if you strive to be professional and put a lot of energy and time into it, you’ll get a lot out of it.”
Follow VE and their activities through their social networks. You can follow Aurora’s Instagram @vefvhs and their TikTok @aurorafvhs. You can follow Instagram and TikTok of reFAIRe @fvhsve.
Zander Cherry contributed story.