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RPS 205 Students Participated in Business Competition at Rockford University

04/17/2023 9:36 am

Nearly 150 RPS 205 eleventh-grade high school students took part in a business trade show April 14 as part of RPS’ Business & Entrepreneur pathway. 

ROCKFORD, Ill. — RPS 205 hosted a career training/business competition on Friday, April 14, for nearly 150 eleventh grade students from Auburn, East, Guilford, and Jefferson high schools in Rockford. 

The event served as a trade show where students participated in competitions. Students developed businesses to sell their products/services such as smoothies and wireless charging panel backpacks. 

They sold their products virtually through a platform provided by Virtual Enterprise International (VEI), which is a course curriculum that provides students authentic business experiences to prepare them for a global business environment. The competition served as a hands-on learning experience, allowing students to demonstrate what they’ve learned in a real world setting.

Community business partners joined RPS 205 Friday to judge the competitions. 

“Every high school student at Rockford Public Schools will enter into a Career Academy in their sophomore year based on career interest,” said Auburn High School College & Career Academy Coach Kathryn Haun, prior to the event. “Each high school offers the same 4 traditional Academies that are based on common career clusters and local workforce demand.”

RPS students had multiple groups who had booths for their “business/service,” to try to sell goods. Some booths included the “business” E-Lumineers, who described themselves as an eco-friendly company that wants to make charging (devices) easier for students and commuters by creating a wireless charging panel backpage. 

Other booths included food business Choosy Smoothie; Florant, Flowers & Candles Co.; and guitar business Immortal Strings.

Jefferson students Juniors Aniah Mellion and Jenise Sims, from the Immortal String group, said their businesses’ guitar strings were made to last longer than most guitar strings, which is up to three years. 

Students participated in work-based learning experiences that include district-wide events and competitions, Haun said. In VEI, they develop firms and will work in teams to develop virtual businesses and compete against each other throughout the year in competitions and trade shows, she added.

Students also toured the college and learned about RU business programs.

The visit also included a Q&A session with a RU business panel. The panel featured RU Professor Jeff Karlberg, Director of Admission Liz Nardi, Director of Career Services Chelsea Minor, and RU students Mykal Brown and Julisa Gutierrez.  

A link to all photos taken at the event can be viewed here


Questions on the event can be sent to