Senior class members of the Loretto High School Virtual Enterprise firm, The Animal Kingdom, Inc. traveled to New York City recently to attend the Virtual
Enterprise International Trade Fair. This year’s event was held at a new venue, Pier 92, with over 3,000 students, teachers, and business/industry leaders attending.
With the new location allowing space for more virtual companies to compete, there were 210 company booths representing schools from Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, California, South Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Brazil, Austria, Germany, Romania, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Bermuda, and Belgium.
Students in attendance had the priceless experience of meeting students from around the globe while networking and marketing their products and services, as well as competing in different areas of business.
The LHS students were rewarded for the many hours of hard work and preparation
for the international competitions by receiving the following awards: Gold Award – Sales Materials Design, and Gold Award – E-Commerce Website Design. Prior to this event, the students had also been awarded Top 10% in the National Branding Competition, and Top 25% in the Human Resource Manual Competition. Congratulations to the entire class for all of their hard work in earning these awards!
After taking care of business, the LHS group enjoyed the beautiful sites and cuisine of the city. The bright lights and excitement of Times Square, along with famous cheesecake from Juniors, New York style pizza from John’s Pizzeria, a cannoli from Ferrara’s, and the entertainment in Ellen’s Stardust Diner set the stage for a trip to remember. During the trip lots of ground was covered, and the group’s transportation varied from walking, to subways, to taxis, to a limousine!
New to the itinerary this year was a trip to Madison Square Garden to watch the New York Knicks play the Chicago Bulls. Between watching two long-time NBA rivals on the court, spotting celebrities, and seeing the awesome entertainment throughout the game, everyone had a great time!
A visit to The Today Show gave the students the opportunity to be seen on television by the folks back home, as well as the chance to meet the hosts of the show. The group toured Radio City Music Hall and was able to get a first-hand look at the beautiful theater and learn the fascinating history behind the building. During the tour, the group was able to spend time with one of the members of the famous Rockettes.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan holds touching tributes throughout the building, as well as historical pieces from Ground Zero. This year’s group spent several hours learning about and remembering the events of that day.
The One World Observatory houses breath-taking views of the city and surrounding states, and was enjoyed by all. A visit to the Financial District would not be complete without a picture with the “Wall Street Bull” and a stroll in front of the New York Stock Exchange.
On Broadway night the group enjoyed seeing Wicked, which continues to be one of the most beloved shows in New York. The beautiful set and outstanding musical numbers from the talented cast made this show one to remember.
Other famous New York landmarks visited by the group this year include Central Park, Grand Central Station, Trump Tower, Tiffany’s, Columbus Circle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Macy’s, The Empire State Building, Chinatown, and Little Italy, and the Plaza Hotel.
Traveling to New York this year were students Sara Beth Conley, Dylan Deese, Peyton Heatherly, Tayler Hill, Cainan Phillips, Bobby Vaughn, and Jordan Wilburn, along with the LHS Virtual Enterprise instructor, Ms. Mary Pack. Also attending were parents Tammy Hill, Carol Vaughn, Trish Williams, and Nick and Mandy Moore.
The LHS Virtual Enterprise students would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone in the community who supported us this year in order to make this trip possible. Whether it was participating in our fundraisers, giving a donation, or personally mentoring us, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for allowing us to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience!