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Student at ASPIRA Charter High School makes National Competition at NFTE

Posted on: August 27, 2021

Due to the pandemic, many students and families have felt drained and unmotivated during the last two years. However, at ASPIRA Business & Finance, a student and her teacher overcame these obstacles together. Sabrina participated in this year’s Chicago/Midwest Entrepreneurship Challenge hosted by Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). This yearly competition allows high school students to pitch an idea in front of judges. Students are then judged based on creativity, research, and presentation. There were three rounds, and over 100 students from several schools from the Midwest took part. Due to Covid, this year’s presentation was hosted virtually.

During Sabrina’s freshman year, she took part in coding courses, which sparked her curiosity to compete in this year’s competition. During the second quarter of the program, Sabrina channeled her energy to develop an app to assist people fighting addictions. Based on her research, over 19 million American adults battled a substance use disorder, and 80% of rehabilitation participants drop out by 3-6 month marker. “These addiction treatment programs are outdated and only exhibit short-term results,” stated Sabrina. As a result, she created an EPOCH app that refers to a period in history or a person’s life.  The app would be connected to a wireless device disguised as an accessory to keep anonymity. The app’s function would allow participants to create an online account with personal information and five emergency contacts.

Additionally, once the account has been verified, the app would synchronize with the device. The app would be 100% customizable with a tracking element for user’s key milestones on their road to recovery.  In an emergency, the patient can tap the device once, and it will send an alert to all emergency contacts with the person’s info and location. Low light will appear in case of a mistake, and one must log in to the app to cancel the request within 30 seconds. “This would add another layer of support for patients and facilities,” said Sabrina.

Sabrina was selected to continue into the national finals and is excited to represent her family, community, and school. Her parents are so proud of Sabrina and have been supporting her every step of the way.  Manuel, Sabrina’s entrepreneurship teacher & mentor at ASPIRA, mentioned, “She’s a bright individual with great potential. I am happy that one of my students will be making it to the finals.”

If you’d like to watch the full video and the marketing plan Sabrina provided for this idea, click here! Learn more about the program here.


Sabrina (left: student) & Manuel (Right: teacher) at ASPIRA Business & Finance during One Summer Chicago Program July 23, 2021.