LEMOORE — Students Billy Chedester and Skylar Zenone know their virtual enterprise class at Lemoore High School is unique.
Where else are they top managers in a worldwide water filtration company trying to provide clean water to the world.
Chedester is CEO and Zenone is CIO of the company – H20: Hydration to the World – a “virtual” company that produces water bottles with a built in filtration system.
Virtual means that the company is not real – no water bottles are being made – but gives students experience in running a company and developing global business, marketing and entrepreneurship skills through a class setting.
Chedester as the CEO makes sure every student is working in their department of the company including finance, human resources, sales, marketing and information technology.
Zenone as CIO helps Chedester come up with ideas on how to best market the company.
“Funny thing about Lemoore is in front of every sink around school we would have a sign saying that we did not pass our water test,” Zenone said. “That kind of inspired us to find a way to change the water issue and make it so everybody is drinking fresh, clean water.”
The company's customer goal is focused on young students like themselves who would be interested in purchasing their product.
“[The company] is an idea that a third of our class came up with,” Chedester said. “We wanted to create something new.”
“I actually had to interview and create a resume for this CEO position,” Chedester said.
The students also compete against other schools on their business skills in running their virtual reality company at trade shows and business competitions.
Last month, Chedester won first place in a competition at California State University, Fresno for his “elevator pitch” – a one-minute description of the company and its goals.
The elevator pitch is performed only by the CEOs of the virtual companies to a group of judges who decide which student has the most successful company.
“Winning this competition just shows how much progress we have made and how much potential our business has,” Chedester said.
The Lemoore students will be competing in other competitions in Oakland and Bakersfield against other high school students who have created their own virtual companies.
“These are fabulous students,” said Scott Buller, teacher and chairman of the Business Department at LHS. “It’s the easiest and hardest class I teach.”
For information on donating to help the students travel to the competitions, contact Buller at firstname.lastname@example.org.