Friday, April 30, 2021
Marlene Quaroni - Florida Catholic
MIAMI | A business-oriented program at Christopher Columbus High School now carries a name well-known in Miami’s business community.
“My father, brothers and I have had the opportunity to found and lead thriving businesses and we look forward to being able to share our knowledge and resources to help the students of Columbus graduate with an edge to succeed in business,” said Michael Carricarte, Jr.
He was one of several members of the Carricarte family to attend the April 15, 2021 launch of the Carricarte Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship career pathway at the all-boys high school. The Carricarte program is one of eight career pathways offered at Columbus and the first to have received a naming gift.
Males in the Carricarte family have a longstanding tradition of graduating from Columbus. Michael Carricarte, Sr., 1959, founder of Amedex Insurance Company and USA Medical Services, was the first to become an alumnus. His son, Michael Carricarte, Jr., followed in 1986, then Louie Carricarte in 1995, Andrew Carricarte in 1997, Brian Carricarte in 2002 and more recently, Michael Nathaniel Carricarte in 2020.
As part of the event, Carricarte, Sr. and Columbus President Thomas Kruczek unveiled a logo and a sign outside a classroom naming it the Carricarte Business, Leadership and Entrepreneurship classroom. They also honored senior business students with black and yellow cords to be worn at graduation.
“Columbus teachers taught us faith, service and building character,” Carricarte, Jr. told those gathered at the recognition ceremony. “As business leaders we affect the lives of thousands of families. We learned the same values that our father learned here and brought to us. Columbus has done more for me than I’ve done for Columbus.”
With the support of the Carricarte family, the school will be able to offer a rich business program with a variety of courses, clubs, honor societies, competitions, field trips, and guest speakers.
Many Columbus students already take part in Future Business Leaders of America, an organization that inspires young people to become community-minded business leaders.This year, the organization named Columbus junior Fernando Ortega a state champion in the category of Future Business Leader after a virtual competition with over 5,000 students.
A Columbus FBLA club officer expressed his appreciation for the program.
“Business is my passion,” said Alexander Perez, a senior. “Business is everywhere. Business is the kid selling candy on the weekends to make some extra money.”
As part of the ceremony, members of the school’s Business Honor Society took an oath to uphold the society’s standards. Carricarte, Sr. and Juan Vila, Columbus academic dean, handed out the cords and told each recipient to “make money.”
“Each one of you receiving this cord should be extremely proud,” said Perez. “This cord is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.”
Next year, Columbus junior Gustavo Jimenez will take over as the FBLA club president. He said that he has learned a lot since the program started. “I’ve learned about business communications,” he said. “I’ve learned business terms and speaking to different audiences and marketing.”
The Columbus business students have several role models in Columbus alumni who are on Fortune 500’s list of CEOs. They are Carlos Rodriguez of ADP Inc., Robert Sanchez of Ryder Systems, Inc., and Jose Mas of MasTec, Inc.
Naming pathways to careers such as law, science and medicine is something that Columbus wanted to do, said Kruczek, the high school’s president.
“This is the first inaugural naming gift,” he said. “The Carricarte family has been incredibly supportive. Programs like this one help students prepare for college and life afterwards. It helps them understand where they want to go in life. We are thankful to the Carricarte family for their generous support. With the family’s help and the dedication of our talented faculty, our school is fully preparing our students for a bright future in the business world.”