Dwyer High finance students make winning pitch – Palm Beach Post
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Florida Power& Light supports a number of programs in its coverage area that aim to help kids learn.
One such program is FPL/ NextEra Energy Resources’ R.B. “Rod” Adams Renewable Energy Competition at Dwyer High School. NextEra Energy is FPL’s parent company.
This competition takes place between students in Dwyer’s Academy of Finance and challenges students grouped into teams to analyze a hypothetical situation from a financial standpoint and then come up with ideas or solutions to present to a mock board of directors.
This year’s competition began in August and was completed on March 7 with the board presentations.
While it may seem a little odd that a company so synonymous with providing power throughout Florida would be focused on finance and economics, FPL’s Tom Flowers said it was a natural move for those on his side of the business.
Flowers, who serves as the director of Property and Sales Tax, said the 10-year-old competition was the financial side of the company’s way of giving back.
“It started with my boss coming out of a meeting and saying they were trying to find ways to serve the community we work in, but in a way that was relevant to our jobs,” Flowers said. “We, as a company, had a well-established relationship with Dwyer and we leveraged that to teach finance students financial concepts.”
For Flowers, the move was a no-brainer.
“It was right up our alley and it helped achieve the goals my boss challenged us with,” he said. “We took what we knew and, rather than try to educate adults, we tried to find groups of younger people who could take what they learned point them in the right direction and get a leg up on college.”
Flowers said some of the students who participated in the competition have come back to begin their careers at FPL.
This year’s competition gave the groups the challenge of operating a hypothetical wind farm. They were given a certain set of parameters and told to look at the price per kilowatt hour as it related to their project at a flat rate and then at an escalating rate.
“Some teams found additional state tax credits that were available to them, some teams had some property tax incentives they identified. One team suggested better ways to transport equipment to the site,” Flowers said. “It’s pretty amazing what they can find just by jumping on the computer and searching for what’s available for renewable energy.”
The teams were graded on three things, all equally important and all from independent sources. First was class participation, second was the financial model they came up with and, finally, their presentation to the board.
Team Gust-A-Move, comprising Shannon McCool, Levon Barnett, Hannah Buschbaum, Alexander Woodward and Alexis Smith, was named the overall winner with each member receiving a $2,000 scholarship.
“The winning team had good command and proper delegation, along with good chemistry, the ability to research and articulate well complex financial issues,” Flowers said. “It took a combination of the three parts to be the winner. The winning team doesn’t have to necessarily be the top echelon team on presentation day, but their financial model and teacher’s assessment can make up for that.”
Dwyer High finance students make winning pitch – Palm Beach Post}