Photo from Hela Albitar Five BETA students presented the plan the Business Academy has been working on all year.
Charter Oak High School

Charter Oak High School places third in UCLA business competition

On April 17, five students from Charter Oak’s business academy–Hannah Tran, Hela Albitar, Kyle Dringenberg, Margarita Garcia and Alexis Chacon–attended UCLA’s annual business plan competition. The Business Education and Technology Academy, BETA, students competed in a new category this year, technology, and placed third out of 21 schools in their division.

All year, the BETA students have been working on a 50-page business plan for the competition. As part of the technology category, the students were tasked with creating an app; the Charter Oak students created an app that worked with the PBIS program that was just implemented at the school.

In their app, students were able to reward coins, similar to Bolt Bucks, to each other for good deeds. The students called their app, “Rippled.”

“The app is based on the PBIS program which is about good behavior, so the ‘ripple effect’ is about spreading good behavior around, hence, the name of the app,” explained Albitar, senior. “We added the ‘-ed’ at the end of ‘Ripple’ to stand for education to show that this is a school app.”

At the competition, the students were nervous and tired as they had prom the night before.

“We arrived about half an hour early and spent that time going over our lines and presentation. Mrs. Strycula gave us some last-minute pointers,” said Garcia.

However, they did not let their festivities from the night before stop them from giving an outstanding presentation.

“Honestly, we killed it. We were prepared for all the questions they asked us, and we were the best presenters in our room. We even had other teams tell us, ‘We hope you win!’ Imagine that, them wanting us to beat them!” said Albitar.

Along with the app, the students created a website for the judges to view. Mr. Parslow’s technology business class created the website for the presentation.

Overall, the students enjoyed their experience with the competition and hope the students next year will be able to produce another award-winning business plan.

“I love the BETA program, and it is so helpful because it gives us college and real life experience. Plus, Mrs. Strycula is amazing and I’m proud to be her student!” said Albitar.

To view the website created by the business academy and get more information about the “Rippled” app visit

–Natalie Rodriguez