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Crystal with Scott and Nicole at NFTE's award dinner.

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Student Profile - Crystal Ramos

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On the private Jet ready to fly to NYC                                                  Crystal's Boutique

Look out, New York City!  Here comes 15-year-old Crystal Ramos, 2004 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner! She was named a 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year award winner by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) for her concept and operation of a floral arrangement business.

Crystal joined the  E CITY staff in New York to receive her award at NFTE’s 11th Annual Salute to the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards Dinner on April 28, 2004 in New York City. In addition to the all-expense-paid trip to New York and the chance to display her business products there, Crystal received a cash

Receiving the NFTE Award

prize of $1500 to apply either to her business or to future college expenses. Crystal was allowed to bring  a guest with her and there is no doubt in her mind that it should be her grandma, who was the inspiration for her artificial floral arrangement business
Crystal, who this fall will be a junior at SuccessTech Academy in the Cleveland Municipal School District, attended the two-week intensive summer “BizCamp” offered by E CITY at Cuyahoga Community College in July 2003.  Under the guidance of teacher Katerina Zacharia and volunteer coaches, Crystal formulated a business plan which was awarded the first place prize in the culminating business plan competition. She has been a participant in E CITY’s weekend Masters Class, and currently is a member of the Real Word group who will be starting a student store named S.O.S. at SuccessTech.

                Crystal with Anana

I wanted to be rebellious and go outside my comfort zone and take the E CITY class,” says Crystal. “All the kids in the class wished it would go on longer. I had the chance to meet others and learn about their ideas and expand my social life. It gets you pumped up! I know how to do it!!” Crystal says.

Crystal and Ana with the E CITY staff

Encouraged by that recognition and buoyed by early proceeds from her business start-up, Crystal entered NFTE’s Young Entrepreneur competition, working long hours outside of school to complete the application process on time.  Her business concept was judged on its creativity and ability to generate revenue, and she had to demonstrate ways that her business would contribute to her community’s well-being.  “I was so shocked when Mr. Z called me at school to tell me I won!” Crystal said.  “Please say thank you to everyone for the help they gave me!”


Crystal's check from NFTE

“Crystal showed unusual tenacity during both the E CITY program and the NFTE award application period,” says E CITY founder, John Zitzner. “She had a business conceived and operating before our class was complete! Crystal is a living demonstration of our theory that kids with street smarts and an achievement mentality have some traits that are common to entrepreneurs. With guidance, they can channel those traits into viable business ideas and eventually help to restore the economy in our community,” Zitzner adds.

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