NewsLocal News


Local business owner invests in recent graduate’s pitch

Posted at 8:33 AM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 08:33:17-04

SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla -- We might be seeing the start of a business success story in Southwest Florida.

South Fort Myers High School has a program that's a lot like the Shark Tank television show.

The Jobs for Florida Graduates (JFG) program at the school teaches kids about entrepreneurship. Students recently had a chance to enter the "Wolf Den" and present to a panel of local business owners looking to invest.

Fox 4 first introduced you to the new student opportunity a couple months back. We followed up with a student whose pitch about financial literacy programs targeted at teenagers landed him an internship and $1,000.

“It was an amazing opportunity. My pitch was an advisory group that was creating programs curtailed to our high schoolers and young adults, you know, in hopes that financial literacy rates are improved,” said Samuel Ballinger. “It definitely curtailed to an aspect of society that was underserviced.”

Founder of Advantage Retirement Group Alfie Tounjian said he was blown away by that pitch. He recently brought Ballinger in for a week-long internship and has been mentoring him.

“I was really blown away for a high schooler to have that much knowledge in my field so it was nice to see and I knew I wanted to invest in him because it was the way he explained it, he had his plan, and he did his homework,” Tounjian said.

To learn more about the Jobs for Florida Graduates (JFG) program, click here.