A group of Havelock High students who want more to do in Havelock came up with an idea that netted them $1,000 in a statewide contest.

A group of Havelock High students who want more to do in Havelock came up with an idea that netted them $1,000 in a statewide contest.

Nine students in Natascia Carr’s entrepreneurship class took second place in the First Flight Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Challenge contest.

“We were happy,” student Ti Singletary said of the reaction of the class. “We’re really trying to do something that we want to get accomplished, so we’re excited that we won money to go toward something we’re trying to establish.”

The contest tasked the students with identifying economic problems within their community, learning about those problems and contributing to a solution. The students looked at economic development in Havelock and thought an indoor sports complex would spur growth while giving youth something to do.

“We find it very important to develop financial literacy at an early age,” said Jessica Holt, senior vice president of operations for First Flight. “This was just a fun way to get students involved in learning about finance.”

Perhaps one of the biggest lessons the students learned was that simply saying they wanted more activities in Havelock wasn’t enough to accomplish their goal.

“You just can’t come up with an idea and expect people to take it,” Singletary said.

The students developed a business plan for their indoor sports complex and interviewed key business leaders such as Havelock Mayor Will Lewis, business developer Jerry Jackson, county economic developer Timothy Downs, and builder Walt Crayton, learning that everything from sewer system capacity to available property plays a role in economic development.

“We learned a lot about the town of Havelock and its history,” student Ashton McCarthy said.

McCarthy was one of the main students behind the creation of the team’s three-minute video that was submitted for the contest.

“It was kind of difficult because there was a lot of information, and the video could only be three minutes,” she said, giving credit to business teacher Ashley Mangum for helping with the video. “We had to shove a lot of information into the video, so that was difficult, but we did a good job though.”

The video made a big impact in the judging, Holt said.

“They put together a video that was very professional and really made a good impression,” she said. “They did a really good job of presenting the facts. They did a lot of research. You could tell that they put a lot of effort into it, working with various leaders of the community and really delving into a problem that the community is facing at this time.”

Carr said her students identified potential retail locations for the complex and talked with contractors and builders in developing the business plan.

“The kids were inspiring,” Carr said. “They’re looking at their town and they see opportunity, and they want to make a difference. Not all kids do that, but these kids did it. In addition to their curriculum, they took on this extra challenge, and I think it speaks volumes about the caliber of students that we have.”

In addition to the $1,000 prize, the students also received T-shirts, computer bags and certificates from First Flight representatives.

The other students who contributed to the project include Dylan Baker, Caleb Baxley, Julia Fernandez, Samoane Ikard, Gualberto Martinez, Sabryna Miller and Martez Morris.

The top prize in the contest went to Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, while third place went to Pamlico County High School.