Visiting Barnstable High School on Thursday to meet students of the school’s fledgling Business, Entrepreneurship & Finance Innovation Pathway, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito declared the future of the commonwealth is bright.
“We’re here to spotlight and shine a big light on what you’re accomplishing in this school,” Polito said. “The day of not knowing what your future is going to be is in the rearview mirror. You are the pipeline of our future growth.”
Polito heard auditorium presentations from students studying in the Business Management and Leadership classes, headed by Monice Maurice and Brent Jansen. She also toured the $1.2 million Environmental Science Laboratory that a $350,000 Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant helped make possible.
Since Barnstable became a pathway school two years two, the school’s DECA Club, short for Distributive Education Clubs of America, grew from 10 students to 180 pre-pandemic, said Liz Freedman, Barnstable High School principal. Now, the group is rebuilding, giving students the chance to gain career and community leadership skills by connecting with the local workforce.
New to the high school this school year, Freedman most recently served 12 years as principal of the Greater Lawrence Technical School in Andover. Her pride in Barnstable High’s budding business internship program closely aligns with that of schools Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown.
“Employers need to tap into this talent early on to keep students connected to the workforce in this region,” Polito said. “How to present yourself, how to interact with others … these valuable skills will set you up for success and much happiness in your lives,” she said addressing the two dozen student presenters, many of whom were decked out in business attire.
Through NFTE, an entrepreneurship nonprofit through which various competitions are run, sophomore Eric Arabadzhiev developed a label for climate-friendly products. His entry placed him in the top 10 in the world. His brother Alex, a junior, placed in the top 3 in a New England competition by developing a business plan for a Home Cookin’ Hub, a business model allowing users to order home-cooked meals direct from local chefs.
“It taught me marketing, finance, how to start your business from the ground-up,” Alex said, thanking his teachers for making something in his wildest imagination possible.
Luis Garcia, a Guatemala-born student whose second language is English, works part-time at Hollister at Cape Cod Mall.
“What I like about the business program is it gives an opportunity to everyone, no matter where you come from,” Garcia said, to thunderous applause.
“I have goosebumps, I have tears, I have a lot of emotion today as I listen to the students and their plans for the future,” Polito said. “Our future is indeed bright. Wherever this path takes you, make sure you stay tethered to the commonwealth of Massachusetts.”