New York trip is just the business

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THE fairytale of New York was experienced by a group of city school children who jetted across the Atlantic to scoop a national prize.

THE fairytale of New York was experienced by a group of city school children who jetted across the Atlantic to scoop a national prize.A total of four young entrepreneurs from Jack Hunt School, in Ledbury Road, Netherton, were rewarded with a bite of the Big Apple after impressing a group of high-flying suits with their business idea.

Year 11 pupils Andrew Aistrup, Abigail Sykes, Ciara McElderly and Charley Genever claimed first place in the Big Deal national enterprise challenge which was held at Aston University, in Birmingham in the summer.

Their team Joey – named after the cheeky character in the US TV programme Friends — bowled over a group of judges with their idea for a sexual health advice website.

They had to step into their lair and pitch their ideas, just like in the BBC programme Dragons’ Den.

They have now claimed their prize and returned to school with memories of Times Square, The Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building etched in their minds forever.

While they were there they also visited the investment banking and security firm Goldman Sachs, which took the unprecedented move of sponsoring their website.

The young entrepreneurs were accompanied by their proud teacher, Nooruz Zaman. He said: “It really was a fantastic trip.

“We really enjoyed the bright lights of the big city.”

Andrew (16) said: “The trip was brilliant.

“It was not like anything I have ever seen before.”

Charley (16) added: “We went to see Legally Blonde on Broadway and stayed in the four-star Roosevelt Hotel which was right in Manhatten. It was amazing.”

The youngsters went along to the Goldman Sachs offices and gave the presentation they made at Aston University to staff there, who were said to have been impressed with their educational Shelf sexual health website.

They told them how they had produced posters and a DVD to promote the website, which also provides an interactive forum and a list frequently asked questions about sexual health matters.

A total of four teams from the school took part in the contest, with each team having a mentor from Perkins Engines.

Jack Hunt headteacher Roy Duncan said “These students have done exceptionally well.

“The reward of a fully funded four-day trip to New York, where they also presented their business idea at the offices of Goldman Sachs was, understandably very well received by the students.”

A launch date for the website is expected “very soon”.

Comment: page 12

Symbols of New York state

Motto: Excelsior (Ever upward)

Slogan: I Love New York

Bird: Eastern bluebird

Animal: Beaver

Fish: Brook trout; salt water - Striped bass

Insect: Ladybird

Flower: Rose

Tree: Sugar maple

Song "I Love New York"

Reptile: Snapping turtle

Beverage: Milk

Colors: Blue & Gold

Fossil: Sea scorpion

Gemstone: Garnet