Students learn entrepreneurship through the Mesa Verde’s Business Academy

Mesa Verde student working High schools throughout San Juan Unified offer Career Technical Education (CTE) programs to students. CTE programs provide hands-on, unpaid training designed to prepare students with entry-level, marketable skills.


The Business Academy at Mesa Verde High School is helping students gain knowledge in multiple fields of business, such as finance, marketing, and production, with a focus on entrepreneurship through operating and maintaining a student-run business.


The Business Academy has two successful student-run businesses that offer each student a chance to enhance their knowledge-- the school’s Maverick Mini-mart, a store located on campus that produces meals and refreshments to be sold to students during lunchtime, and a branch partnership with the SAFE Credit Union, where students are able to make deposits and open savings accounts on campus.


“It’s important that we’re educating the students to live in the world of business,” said Rachel Grayem, assistant branch manager at a local SAFE Credit Union.


In the classroom, students learn time management, business tactics and organizational skills. On top of that, students also learn valuable, real-world communication, financial and leadership skills by working in the student-run businesses.


“I like the program because it helps all of us be prepared for life after high school,” said Kaleena Sauceda Sarno, a senior in the program. “We are really a family in the Business Academy. My teachers care about my success.”


The Mesa Verde Business Academy is a three-year program, and in their senior year, students are given a chance to participate in internships throughout the Sacramento region. By the end of their high school careers, students graduate with a strong resumé.


“Our goal is to raise their expectations about what they can become and then give them those tools and roadmap to get there,” said Karla Branen, teacher and facilitator of Mesa Verde’s Business Academy.

Learn more about San Juan Unified’s CTE programs at