News Details

Gulf County Teens Win First Place in Project Venture State Competition with Innovative “Teen Mobile” Business Concept



Date: 2024/04/18

PORT ST. JOE, FL – Gulf County teens presenting the “Teen Mobile” business concept won the state championship, a first-place trophy, and $1,000 at the 2024 High School High Tech (HSHT) Project Venture finals. 
The Gulf County HSHT team was one of four finalists from across the state that convened in Jacksonville before a large audience and panel of judges to present a comprehensive business plan to promote and sell a new product or service, along with a 30-second video commercial.
The Gulf County teens created a business plan for “Teen Mobile,” a student-developed business concept designed to bridge the digital divide for elderly technology users. The team connects seniors with skilled teenage technicians who can provide personalized tech support at home. In a high-pressure Shark Tank-like experience, the students delivered a pitch of their project to a 5-person panel of judges. Presentations included a slide show, unveiling of the commercial, and a Q&A session with judges and audience members.

Project Venture is a competition for high school students with disabilities to showcase entrepreneurial skills, including project management, group collaboration, written communication, problem solving, and presentation skills.  

The winning team includes Wewahitchka High School students Aden Hortin, Brianna Hysmith, and Caytlin Myers. CareerSource Gulf Coast, the Gulf County partner for The Able Trust High School High Tech program, leads the Gulf County HSHT team.

The team was paired with an Executive Coach from Centennial Bank to perfect their presentation and audio-visual components, as well as prepare for the questions from the panel of judges and audience.

“Congratulations to the Gulf County High School High Tech team on being our first-place Project Venture winner,” said Allison Chase, President and CEO of The Able Trust. “Their business development materials were creative, they had a very professional presentation, and they did a great job answering questions from our panel of judges. I’m sure their family and community are very proud of their efforts!” 

“Winning this competition feels incredible! We were able to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones to present a project that can really make a difference,” said team member Caytlin Myers. “We learned so many valuable skills, including working together for a common goal and supporting each other’s strengths.”

Lianna Sagins, the CareerSource Gulf Coast Director of Workforce Services for Gulf and Franklin County, commended the students for the achievement: "The creativity, talent, and ingenuity of these students never ceases to amaze me. They approached this project with a fresh perspective to solving a real-world issue.” 

“Their hard work and experience gained with Project Venture, as well as coordinating local job fairs for Gulf County students, will undoubtedly lead to great things in their futures,” Sagins continued. “It has been inspiring to see their self-confidence grow with each new project throughout the year.”

The teens honed their project management and communication skills at Job Fair & Career Expos recently held at Port St. Joe High School and Wewahitchka High School. The High School High Tech group conceptualized, organized, and hosted the student-focused events. The events featured 30+ educators, recruiters, businesses, and community resources together to highlight job opportunities, educational paths, internships, and volunteer opportunities in the Gulf County area.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Able Trust and the entire community—businesses, mentors, educators—who have come together to support these youth,” said Kim Bodine, Executive Director of CareerSource Gulf Coast. “ Together we are building a future where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This investment creates a bright future for these teens and our entire community.”

To view the promotional commercials, visit To see a recap of the Project Venture finals and meet the judges, visit

About The Able Trust and the High School High Tech Program
The Able Trust was established by the Florida legislature in 1990 to support the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The Able trust has an almost 30-year history in supporting Florida’s youth with disabilities through High School High Tech, a comprehensive career and postsecondary exploration program for high school youth.
High School High Tech, Futures in Focus and the Project Venture competition are designed to help strengthen soft skills that are vital to the workforce and increase the high school graduation rate and postsecondary enrollment of students with disabilities. To learn more visit

About CareerSource Gulf Coast
CareerSource Gulf Coast is the workforce development authority in Bay, Gulf, and Franklin Counties that connects businesses with qualified, skilled talent and Gulf Coast residents with employment and career development opportunities to achieve economic prosperity. CareerSource Gulf Coast is a non-profit chartered by the State of Florida and is one of 24 local workforce development boards across the state. 
Visit to learn more about professional workforce development and job placement services, all offered at no charge. 

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In compliance with the Stevens Amendment CareerSource Gulf Coast must provide percentages of total cost of programs/projects financed with federal money and non-governmental sources as well as dollar amounts of the federal funds for projects and programs. You may find this information on our website: