‘Wall Street: Next Generation’ runs at OPHS library

Ishya Cherukapali curates business program for 10 weeks


Photo courtesy Harshada Madiraju

Final awards ceremony held in the OPHS Library

A business program called “Wall Street: Next Generation” ran for 10 weeks, from Feb. 6 to April 10, at the school library. Junior Ishya Cherukupalli, with her partners sophomore Nitya Shivempet and freshman Shaurya Madiraju, assisted Grades 6 to 9 in becoming business leaders, along with the help of college counselor Athi Natarajan.

“My passion for working with kids, and teaching them about something that I am interested in really inspired me. In the past, I have done many projects involving kids, such as workshops and classes. I was able to realize how much I enjoyed spending time with them, and being able to gain knowledge that will be useful for them in the future feels very rewarding,” Cherukupali said.

The program occurred every Sunday for two hours. During this time, participants recruited from throughout Ventura County would learn specific business topics like marketing, finance and product development.

Each week, students learned more about the mechanics of running a business. The first week involved developing an idea for the participants’ business, which they would pitch to local entrepreneurs. By the end of the program, students showcased their final ideas. Different awards were given, including Best Pitch, Best Financial Model, Most Innovative Business, Most Impactful Business and the Most Promising Team. Each student pitched their company, ranging from video game subscriptions, bird cages and even medicated candies. 

“The program helped me learn how to work as a team. I understood how each department in a company works and how to make a new product. This helps me understand different career paths to choose for me. I liked that we were asked to do things hands-on. I especially enjoyed the educational videos and fun jokes by the tutors. It made learning fun,” 6th grade Medea Creek Middle School student Varshini Sourirajan said. 


Students collaborating to discuss potential company ideas
Curator Ishya Cherukapali and participants with their awards