By David Allen
FRANKLINTON — A new kind of honors class has been making waves at Franklionton High School since 2012
A Virtual Enterprise (VE) class, led by Lisa Davis, teaches students valuable skills through a virtual world of business.
The company, Axis Enterprise, allows students to work as employees. To be one, they must submit resumes, go to interviews and apply for the job they want.
“This is an amazing program and it gives you so much insight on how a business works inside and out,” said Senior Jasmine Baskett, the company Chief Executive Officer.
“Even with the introduction to Life Strikes, Virtual Enterprise gives you a whole new outlook on life itself, with personal budgets and life problems. I know that this program has a lot to offer to its students. This program has literally changed my life.”
Students are required to buy and sell virtual products with other firms around the world. This is on top of the aforementioned “Life Strikes” which randomly assigns students with families where they live, and whether or not a disaster happens, which could be anything from a tornado to a car wreck.
“Axis Enterprise is a truly unique class unlike any other,” senior Joshua Mayton, the Chief Operating Officer commented. “This class allows the students to learn from their choices as opposed to being lectured. Even if a student has no intention of entering business, the class teaches real world skills necessary in everyday life.
“I believe that taking this class has made me better in taking charge, financial obligations, and overall responsibility.”
Axis Enterprise held an open house for the public last week, and during that time the students showcased what they had learned and what they had to offer.
One of the key focuses of the class is how to sell to the customer and knowing what people want to buy.
With this in mind, the students at Axis Enterprise decided to sell handheld devices such as tablets and cell phones, along with every conceivable accessory.
Presenting their products with a catchy song, and utilizing props showing off their bold purple and black styling showed they knew how to catch attention.
The officers of the business spoke about how their parts worked in unison with the other employees of the company.
“Axis has prepared me for opportunities that I would have never taken two years ago,” senior Alexus Coles, vice president of marketing, commented. “My life is surrounded by fortuity and great measures. As I take my future in my hands, I have Axis’ great teachings revolving around me.”
The students talked about their plans for the future, how they had conducted business and transactions previously and outlined what they had learned.
With a fleshed-out business plan and explanation of how they run their company, the students made it clear they had been doing their homework.
But the VE students aren’t limited to the classroom, they travel to the annual trade show in Tennessee.
Students network, negotiate and build friendships and business relationships, says Davis.
The trip however is costly, with the class having to rent a chartered bus and pay for hotel rooms and show booth supplies.
“I would love to see this program grow,” Davis said. “I would love to have businesses that are willing to give to these students and their educational endeavors. Giving could be guest speaking, proofreading a business plan, listening to a presentation, asking the hard questions or financial support. It takes several thousand dollars to take a trip of this nature, but it simply cannot be duplicated in a classroom.
“Passion is contagious,” she continued. “I want the community and area businesses to be passionate about these students and their futures.”
Davis went on to talk about how the students learned ten times more from interacting with the community and local business involvement.
“I cannot explain the difference it makes to have someone from the outside come in and share real life experiences with students. As I told one of our guest speakers, Mr. Durrett, teaching comes from so many avenues and life experiences and the classroom is only one of those facets. Having successful business people come in and address a group of students is simply invaluable. It brings to life the concepts and ideas that we teach from an idealistic setting. It also gives students an opportunity to recognize the need for networking; and shows them the absolutely incredible wealth of information held in previous generations. Many times, young people are not aware of the lessons that can be learned from those who have been there or are there now.”
To learn more about what’s going on with Davis and her class, or if you’d like to help them out, e-mail her at [email protected]