Castlemont Entrepreneurship Academy Students Shine at Afrotech Conference

Castlemont students, (checkered shirt) Hennessy Jimenez (Magnetic Horse Boots) and Linda Galvez (Heavenly Lip Balm) pitched their business dreams to hundreds at the Afrotech Conference in Oakland at the Marriott Hotel Convention Center. Photo Courtesy: Afrotech.

Two Castlemont High School students presented their dream for a business to an enthusiastic audi­ence earlier this month at Afrotech, the largest Afri­can American Tech Con­ference in the world, held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Oakland.

Two well-prepped stu­dents, coached by Castle­mont educator George Ar­terberry of Castlemont’s newly inaugurated En­trepreneurship Academy, ended up ranking second at the event.

“I am so proud of our students,” said Arterberry. “They did great and these students have a bright fu­ture.”

Castlemont’s Hen­nessy Jimenez (Magnetic Horse Boots), and Linda Galvez (Heavenly Lip Balm) pitched their busi­ness dreams in an arena designed to give teens the opportunity of a lifetime. Both 11th graders, Jimi­nez and Galvez spoke for several minutes about their business plan and request for funding.

“It was a great experi­ence, pitching my foot­wear,” said Jiminez.

“I really appreciate the opportunity and the help of Mr. Arterberry with my cosmetics business plan,” said Galvez.

“This competition was an extension of what we do on a regular basis in my classroom and that is: develop original and en­trepreneurial ideas that are solely the inspiration of the students themselves,” said Arterberry, Castlemont’s Business and Entrepre­neurship teacher. “We then spend extensive time work­ing the ideas for content, for viability and ultimately for possible funding.”

“My two students are just a microcosm of the talent pool that we are develop­ing in my entrepreneurship classes. As we expand our entrepreneurship academy, we will begin with comput­er coding in the ninth grade along with a steady diet of entrepreneurship, busi­ness and presentation skills combined with math and English tutoring. This turn-key program will empower hundreds of students. I sim­ply see myself as having a petri dish full of diamonds (students) only lacking the polishing.”

Arterberry has worked with hundreds of students on their business ideas, business plans, and public speaking. “In every class session, I call on students to perform, express them­selves and get comfortable speaking before an audi­ence. These are skills that will take their lives to the next level,” he said.

Arterberry recalls the time when he was one of the few Black people pre­senting his business ideas in Silicon Valley.

“A forum like Afrotech is long overdue and it so amazing to be able to help fill the industry with more Black and Brown students – our future leaders,” he said.

Castlemont Principal Michael Scott was equally proud of the students and looks forward to showcas­ing well-developed talent at the high school. “Af­rotech is an amazing space to feature our students,” said Scott. “The possibili­ties are endless.”

“George brings a rec­ognized incisive business acumen to entrepreneurs. His passion, experience and knowledge can help any student grow their idea and scale their business,” said Scott.

Earlier in his career. Ar­terberry developed a web browser-based California software company that provided an electronic medical records and prac­tice management solution for physician practices, clinics, and hospitals. He was an early guest lecturer to the medical organization (NMA), concerning EMR technology and implemen­tation.


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