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Business in New York

Megan Pope, Staff Reporter

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Students of Palm Harbor’s Future Business Leaders of America club [FBLA], and Center of Academics for Business Administration and Management [CABAM] program took a trip to New York City, New York, to learn more about the world of business and the get a behind the scenes look at what it was like. Traveling to Tampa International Airport early February 19, 2017, the students met with Mr. Kevin Schachter to get their boarding pass. Landing in Newark Liberty International Airport, after gathering all of their belongings and meeting up with the three other schools, they met with their tour guide, named Karen. From there they rode in a motor coach to their destinations. Along routes, Karen would talk about different elements of the city, as well as important parts of history.

“This was my first time traveling out of state with school, and my friends. I was really happy that I made so many friends and got closer with the friends I already had,” Natasha Campanaro (‘17) said.

During the first day, the schools were taken to the American Museum of Natural History, and they toured in small groups all of the different exhibits, from the history of different cultures, to marine life, to dinosaurs, and even space. Shortly after, they were given tickets to go 70 floors up to see the “Top of the Rock” at the Rockefeller Center. They were given about thirty minutes to locate the buildings of the City, using a map given to them. By this time, it was around sunset so they were able to see the sun slowly fall behind the water. Dinner that night was at the Hard Rock Cafe, in Times Square; where after the students could break off into smaller groups of four or more to shop and explore Times Square. The four different schools, Palm Harbor, Eastlake, Osceola, and Lakewood all began to intertwine with each other, and socialize more.  

“Living in Florida, and so close to the beach, I have seen many sunsets but seeing the sunset at the Rockefeller center was gorgeous because it was so different from the height it was at,” Jazmyn Snow (‘17) said. “The skyscrapers and towers seem to be so small but from 70 floors up it puts everything in a different perspective.”

During the second day, as Mr. Schachter calls BIS [Butts in seats] everyone was to be showered, and full from breakfast NO LATER than eight a.m. Nobody wanted to miss out on BIS, or else they would be in big trouble. From the hotel, the next stop was to NBC studios, touring Jimmy Fallon’s studio where he records The Tonight Show, live. At the end of the tour, the groups were able to go into a practice studio, and make their own version of the show.

“It was really a unique experience. The studio was real, and so was all of the equipment, which made it feel like we were really on NBC,” Joy Lisi (‘17) said. “It was an amazing opportunity.”

The groups then went on to Microsoft, and were all merged into one to learn about good entrepreneurs, and what it takes to be one. They were counted off in numbers to form smaller groups, and make up their own idea using Microsoft surface products to help them create their ideas, and follow along with the presentations. After they were done, they went up in front of everyone to present their ideas, and once everyone was done a vote was held for the best business idea. Following the tour, dinner was held at Sarge’s Deli, where there was a choice of soups, sandwiches, and cookies.  Once everyone was done, the bus driver Rudy picked everyone up to head back over to the Rockefeller center to ice skate at night, in the forty degree weather. All of the buildings were lit up, and since it was presidents day there were American flags filling up the city.

“Ice skating was a blast because it was like a hole in the ground, and it was cool to be able to look up and see all of the buildings above you,” Jessica Douglas (‘17) said. “It was really fun to meet all of the kids from the other schools and to just mess around with my friends.”

The following morning, the four schools boarded a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Once Rudy dropped everyone off at the dock, they were to stand in line and wait for their tickets. While waiting, a street performer played a banjo, singing songs about love, happiness, and touring. He even threw in a famous song from the Lion King, called Hakuna Matata. Everyone eventually joined around him eating food from the street vendors, singing, and all around having a good time.

“I thought the street performer was pretty cool,” Vannie Andolino (‘17) said. “New York is  a  totally different environment than Florida, and everything is so fast paced and there is always something going on.”

Once everyone received their tickets, they went through security and onto the ship. While on the ship, they could choose between indoor seating, or the top deck. They could buy snacks, and even souvenirs. When they arrived at the famous statue, everyone broke out into smaller groups to walk around and take pictures from the front. You could see all of the city, pretty water views, and of course all of the statue itself. Shortly after getting all of the pictures needed, the groups met back to board the next ferry to head over to Ellis Island. Some students explored the whole museum, and some spent their time trying to find their family names on the long walls of honor, which includes mostly all of the names of the people who legally immigrated to the US. They had enough time to eat lunch, as well as see the gift shop.

“I got a little stuffed elephant because it was super cute and I knew it would be a good pillow for the rides on the bus, and the plane,” Anna Lacey (‘17) said.

After departing from the Island, the next stop on the itinerary was to visit the 9/11 memorial. This was probably one of the most emotional times of the trip, for everyone. Walking up, it was hard for everyone to believe this was where it all happened. Two huge fountains were in place exactly where the towers were. Aligning the sides of the fountains, are the names of every individual who had passed away in the towers. Along all of the names, there were flags or white roses that families or friends placed. In between the fountains was the “survivor tree”. The tree was found as just a stump, burning during the tragic event, and was recovered and planted where it is now a fully grown tree.

“It was really sad to see all of the names of people that lost their life during 9/11,” Lenna Morgado (‘20) said.

On the side of the fountains was a small glass building, which is the start of the memorial museum. You go through security,and then head downstairs. Inside of the museum there were voicemails playing from the victims on the planes, the victims inside the buildings. There were rooms under the fountain that had the names and pictures of all of the victims, as well as a slideshow of pictures from their life with voiceovers from their family. As you walked around, there were pictures and quotes along the walls, and pieces from the buildings. Anything from seatbelts of the plane, elevator motors, clothing, original papers, phones, firetrucks, almost everything you could imagine was in there. You could see the damage to all of the objects, and the burn marks from papers. On some of the walls there were videos playing from different parts of the incident, with pictures of people who survived, and quotes on how they felt, what it was like, and how they feel now.

“It was very overwhelming, and I felt like I went on an emotional rollercoaster,” Julia Taal (‘17) said. “It is one thing to read about it all in class, but being there at the site, seeing the actual fragments put together, putting faces to the names you read about, and hearing the loved ones talk about their loved ones was taking it to the next level.”

Continuing the day, everyone headed down to Chinatown and Little Italy. Streets were held full of shops, and gift shops. People are known for bargaining, and Mr. Schachter made sure he taught everyone not to buy things for the price they’re asking. After about an hour of shopping time, students from all four schools met up at Puglia’s Italian restaurant for chicken, pasta, and mini cannolis. During dinner, an entertainer came in to sing while we ate. He sang some traditional songs that most people knew, but he played a twist at the end. Starting out, he had everyone grab their napkins. He started singing, making everyone twirl the napkins in the air. Looks were thrown around the room, while napkins were slowly lifted in the air. Just when things started to heat up, he demanded everyone to stand on top of their chairs to dance and twirl their napkins. As weird as it seemed, everyone enjoyed it, and had some good laughs. Finishing the night, students were driven to go see the hit show “Aladdin” on broadway. The musical had different scenes from the Disney movie, and kept a steady pace throughout the whole show. It had interesting scenes, and good laughs throughout the whole show.

“Dancing with napkins was definitely a surprise but it was actually really fun,” Desiree Ehrlich (‘17) said. “It was a great break from our busy schedule, and one of my favorite parts of the trip.”

The last day snuck up on everyone. By this time, everyone caught the sniffles, and needed as much sleep as they could get. Starting out with BIS at 8am, they were dropped off on Wall Street, and got a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At the bank, they were informed on the history of the reserve bank, and the other 11 reserve banks in the United States. Below ground, 87 floors below ground, is the gold vault. The gold vault holds over $240 billion worth of gold for different companies. The students were shown how the vault locks, and the different equipment used for the gold. To go along with touring the bank, the students then walked over to the museum of American Finance. There, the students got to see different forms of currency, from the first form, to today’s current dollar. Finishing up in the business district, the bus went over to Chelsea market, where they ate lunch and shopped around.

“I think it is a really good trip for a couple of reasons, not only going to new york, but how to travel for business, how to pack, share room with other people, and how to go through an airport,” Kevin Schachter said. “It is good for the students to see how the business world works and what it takes for things to work.”

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The School Newspaper of Palm Harbor University High School
Business in New York