Omar Faruk Media List

18 years old — and a CEO..................................................................................................2 A Portfolio of Young Business Owners...............................................................................6 YOUNG BIZ WHIZ SALVAGES TOP HONORS..........................................................10 Young Entrepreneurs to Close the Day at NASDAQ But Usher in the Future.................11 EntrepreneurshipWeek USA Kicks Off with Workshops, Networking Opportunities.....14


Published on asia! Magazine (print) (

18 years old — and a CEO

Main Feat. Thumb: MELANIE HILARIO With a Wall Street address and wisdom beyond his years, Mohammed Omar Faruk tells asia! how business can take care of the world. Youthful entrepreneurship is hardly new; in the US, selling lemonade or delivering newspapers for a little extra money is practically a rite of passage. But in these high-tech times, an age where the best source for pimping your MySpace page might very well be your 13-year-old nephew, young people are not only forging new roads in business but giving old ones a makeover. In Brooklyn, Mohammed Omar Faruk is one such up-and-coming businessman. Omar and I recently connected one Friday, coordinating his early evening in New York with my late afternoon in California, to chat about how he came to lead the somewhat double life of an 18-year-old high school senior and CEO of BlueStream, a company that provides low-cost web services and computer training to non-profit organisations. With our sole contact via e-mail and phone, I wouldn’t know what he looked like were it not for his impressive Google presence; one of the search hits yielded — what else? — his MySpace page, readily disclosing he’s five foot ten, has chin-length black hair, he’s single, and he’s a Cancer. Still, he was a CEO, so I kept my professional hat firmly affixed through all our correspondence, signing e-mails with “thank you” and “regards” (rather than the decidedly less formal “peace out”). Then, while we were both scoping out the best spots on our respective coasts for proper cell phone reception and interview-level quiet, he got a call on his other line. “Oh, excuse me,” he says. In the background: Miguel...hey man, are you still coming over?


I suddenly felt at ease. Omar Faruk, wunderkind chief executive, also seemed like a nice, normal, 18-year-old guy, about to hang out with a friend on a Friday night. One of his 308 friends on MySpace. Yeah, he definitely knows a thing or two about networking. Not surprisingly, Omar’s economic savvy and penchant for taking chances appeared early on. “I helped people bag groceries for tips. I was like, 11,” says Omar, who had intuitively followed a basic business principle: find a need and fill it. But the need was also his own. His family had just moved to the US from Bangladesh, and with nine children including himself, simple things became money issues: “School trips cost money. When [the trip] was free, I got to go, but food and everything was always more.” With his earnings, Omar was able to fund those grade school field trips, and he didn’t stop there. In junior high he sold cakes, and later on, began his first entrepreneurial endeavor — one the staff at asia!could appreciate — his own magazine. “Well, it was more of a newsletter,” he admits, adding it didn’t last as long as he’d hoped: “You know how they say 50% of companies fail the first year?” He is extremely candid, almost selfeffacing, telling me this venture didn’t work out as planned. I for one didn’t know 50% of companies didn’t make it the first year. I helped people bag groceries for tips. I was like, 11. School trips cost money. When [the trip] was free, I got to go, but food and everything was always more. Omar Faruk He felt slightly impeded when he launched an online retail business with his brother-in-law at the age of 16. “We originally wanted to import stuff. Sell wholesale products online.There were issues, lots of trial and error,” says Omar. Because of his age, there were problems with him getting a bank account, as well as legal concerns with being President and CEO, preprinted business cards or not. Fortunately, his brother-in-law and partner lent support there, and his youth was less of a liability in the ecommerce market, where government regulations differed slightly. What did his family think about him starting a company at such young age? “I was the independent and rebellious one. They didn’t ask questions,” Omar says of his loved ones, including his Bengali-only-speaking mother, who might have trouble with the English as much as the technical jargon — arguably a language of its own — needed to explain the details of what he does. Nonetheless, his background informs his work: eventually the company moved into web design (one of his personal interests), and Omar began to devote part of his efforts to helping others succeed in business, and getting people and businesses to become more involved in the community. One example is BlueStream’s collaborations: “I currently have a mentor who’s helping us with the Action Network. They get movie tickets, clothing, and other commodities and offer those products as incentives.” Omar also clarifies he doesn’t do the website design and consulting services himself, but facilitates the outsourcing, uniting freelancers seeking jobs with clients seeking the freelancers. “BlueStream’s not set up to do millions of dollars, or even a few,” Omar says with a laugh, but just as he did in his first job, he’s recognized a need and filled it. Despite his not being a millionaire yet, the company’s pulled in a $20,000 revenue since 2004. Along with other entrepreneurship related activity, that’s enough to support both himself and the continued operation of BlueStream.


What’s more, Omar is repaving the way to corporate enterprise with a concern for the public good. Currently BlueStream Corp. builds sites for a variety of markets, including retail, advertising, and music. Underneath BlueStream, Omar also runs, which offers free music downloads to the South Asian community, and, described by Omar as an “Internet marketplace for young entrepreneurs and small businesses.” BlueStream not only provides useful services, but cultivates economic communities often neglected or disenfranchised: non-profit organizations, ethnic minorities, business owners just starting out. Omar may by definition be a newbie CEO, but what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in social awareness and creativity. Others agree. Omar received one of the 2004 honours for Growing Up CEO, sponsored by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City [1], which is awarded to 25 emerging leaders 21 and under. He also won a 2005 Atlantic Fellowship, in which Merrill Lynch grants “exceptional high school students…the opportunity to explore the business world firsthand and to discover the variety of careers in the financial services industry.” Both achievements have given him access to invaluable instruction and mentorship in the field.Most recently, Ernst & Young presented Omar with the prestigious Youth Entrepreneur Award this past summer.

Omar Faruk at The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awarding ceremony

At the time of this writing, Omar had just transferred from New York City’s High School of Economics and Finance to Independence High School, which allows him the flexibility to balance academics, business, extracurricular activities (he’s president of student government), and a social life (again, this chief executive is currently single). He’s also very active in volunteerism and politics, organizes local MeetUps, advocates AIDS awareness, and is an instructor for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE. As an alumnus, Omar says he will always be part of NFTE (pronounced “nifty”), and try to share as much of the insight gained from his experiences. “I try to impress the real cost of labour and reselling. In a mock venture…the key profit isn’t just the cost of say, $12 earrings sold for $13 as $1 profit. There’s the cost of travel [and other things].” He also fervently supports self-promotion:


“All your programmes, activities, and experiences contribute [to your qualifications]. Put them on your résumé! Don’t be afraid to brag! It’s the only place you’re allowed to.” Armed with more knowledge than most beginning entrepreneurs, Omar says his journey with BlueStream has totally impacted how he views business, and himself: “I know that I’m a huge risk taker!” He elongates the word huge so it’s more like “HUUUGE!”— the very sound reflecting his confidence. “I have the courage to take on other projects,” he adds. “Any idea I have [and want to pursue], I know I have the guts to take the risk.” Omar’s regular day begins at 6 am; he’s got books to read, papers to write, a company to run. With college and plans for his own non-profit on the horizon, Omar has already fulfilled his own version of the American dream, and done it with a sensitivity for what’s outside the office high-rise, beyond the boardroom. That’s a breath of fresh air in today’s corporate atmosphere. While Omar does want to expand the company and make money, he hopes “the Action Network and other non-profits will be able to give back to the community as the community is giving to me, in a sense…I do not think profit for me is a big concern as long as it pays the bills…it’s not my biggest concern. I do not have any investors so I do not have to please anyone else but my clients and myself.” He’s one of the new visionaries who see the vast macro- and micro- of economics, business as means for betterment both global and personal, especially for someone coming to it as he first did: “I know for immigrants it can be hard, but the best way to defeat hardship is with entrepreneurship. We know what opportunities are there.” He seems to be doing just what business author Kenneth H. Blanchard advises: “When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home.” If they approach it like Omar does, they won’t have to.


A Portfolio of Young Business Owners
Meet six students who have already taken the entrepreneurial leap. By Patrick J. Sauer | Feb 1, 2007

Omar Faruk
Age 18, BlueStream, New York City Omar Faruk believes that social entrepreneurship can make the world a better place. He's CEO of BlueStream, a Web management company that specializes in helping nonprofits with limited resources. The business grossed $40,000 in 2006 and earned Faruk the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year award given out by Ernst & Young and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. "Make a difference first, make the money later," Faruk says. In 1997, at age 9, Faruk immigrated with his family from Noakhali, Bangladesh--"The district that Gandhi visited," he notes--to New York City. The family had been well off back home but ended up with eight people sharing a three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. By the time Faruk enrolled in high school, he was spending a lot of time online and learning the ins and outs of Web design. Three years ago, he started BlueStream to build websites at a cost of $200 and up for fledgling nonprofits. The idea was to marry his interest in social activism to his interest in technology. One of Faruk's customers is, an organization that helps women in Guyana sell crafts on eBay. "Omar helped the idea to flower, and he makes the world of commerce so much fun," says Avi Shiwnandan,'s founder. In the meantime, Faruk is trying to bolster his grades in an effort to get into Babson College, where he hopes to study social entrepreneurship. Shiwnandan, for one, is not worried about Faruk's prospects: "I have no doubt he will make a lot of money in his lifetime, even if it isn't his main ambition." Copyright © 2010 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved., 7 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007-2195.


Daily News: Steve Mariotti: Thinking Big About Small Business From The New York Daily News By HEATHER ROBINSON “Every child should learn how to start a business, especially children who are having difficulty in school,” says Steve Mariotti. “Let them be exposed to the concept of self-ownership.” With his easy banter and warm smile, Mariotti seems more like a guy you’d find behind the counter of a neighborhood deli than running an educational empire. But for Mariotti, 52, inspiring youngsters to start small businesses is a big obsession. As founder and director of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, pronounced ‘Nifty’) he runs a non-profit organization that teaches the principles of small business management to 28,000 young people per year in over 13 countries worldwide. He is also creator of the curriculum that NFTE trains teachers to use, and author of “Entrepreneurship: How to Start and Operate a Small Business,” a textbook that reflects his twenty years of working to help junior high and high school students to start their own businesses —and make money. A sturdy, plainspoken fellow, Mariotti believes that the best way to help the poor, even poor children, is to teach them to make money. “The only way to beat poverty, long term, is business development,” he says. At one time a financial analyst for the Ford Motor Company, Mariotti left Ann Arbor, MI for New York City in 1979, pursuing the dream of being his own boss. He started an import/export women’s shoe business, and was successful. But in 1981, he was mugged by a gang of teenagers, a deeply traumatic experience. Searching for a way to overcome his fears and reconnect with others, he decided to teach, and began his new career at one of the city’s toughest schools, Boys and Girls High School in BedfordStuyvesant. Students would lock him out of the classroom, he recalls, and practice dance steps in the back of the room—anything to avoid learning. One day, frustrated, he took some students to dinner and talked with them. He learned that they felt his lessons had little to do with their lives, and they were bored. At that point, a theory was born. He decided to incorporate his experience in the business world into the classroom, designing lessons that simulated business transactions in order to teach math. “Some kids are fascinated by business and money, and I started designing a curriculum for them,” he said. The kids perked up; he went on to supervise creation of student-run stores, and to begin teaching basic business principles, like developing ideas, finding niches, and record keeping. In 1987, after six years teaching in the New York City public schools, Mariotti founded NFTE. The NFTE curriculum requires students to make a minimum 50 hours commitment to learning basic business skills such as record keeping, maintaining income statements, writing and defending a business plan, and making sales calls. In addition to training teachers to offer the program in schools, NFTE partners with community centers and colleges including New York University to offer free, week-long summer camp programs. About 4,500 New York City students participate each year. The curriculum is flexible and can be incorporated into pre-existing math or business classes, or taught as a separate elective class, like “Entrepreneurship.” In addition to teaching business skills, the program is designed to encourage kids to stay in school.


“It’s a strategy to help kids stay in school and master basic skills while also developing skills that can be used later to help them make a living in a free enterprise system,” says Mariotti. Keeping kids in school is vital for them and for society, he believes. “Certain kids are just not responding to schools, and once they drop out, there’s 65 percent unemployment from ages 18 to 30,” he says. “Once they’re disconnected, there are so many tragedies. “Keeping kids in school has such great economic and social value.” There is evidence that NFTE’s curriculum does keep kids in school, and have other benefits, too: a 1993 Brandies University study found that for older high school students, participation in NFTE correlated with increased likelihood of attending college. And a Harvard University study conducted during the 2002-2003 school year found that students participating in NFTE gained a greater sense that their actions, not outside forces, accounted for success. Kids speak with great enthusiasm about NFTE. Mohammed Omar Faruk, 17, a high school junior who participated in one of NFTE’s summer camp programs in Bedford Stuyvesant, has since established several internet businesses, including, an internet consulting firm, and, a retail site. In all, he and a business partner have netted about $4,000. He would like to attend Babson College, and thinks his experience with NFTE will help him. “NFTE teaches you, early in life, a lot of information you can use later on,” he says. Jasstina Featherstone, 16, who runs Jass Esscents (, a candle business featuring “unique, hand-carved designs,” learned business skills through a NFTE camp program she heard about at her school. “NFTE has helped me a great deal; I don’t think I could have done my business without it,” she says. Although she says she had researched how to make candles on her own, and was already “motivated,” the business skills she learned through NFTE enabled her to “overcome self-esteem problems” that might have prevented her from developing her craft into a business, and to “learn how to manage the business end.” So far, she says, she has earned several hundred dollars selling her candles. NFTE presently operates in low income communities across the United States and in 13 countries around the world, through its curriculum, teacher education programs, and support services for alumni. Some of the places in which NFTE operates include China, India, Israel, South Africa, Belgium, Tanzania, Holland, and the United Kingdom. Many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs have been poor children, and it’s a natural fit, according to Mariotti. While middle class upbringing tends to prepare one for functioning in a structured environment, like a government or a corporation, poorer children’s circumstances tend to more closely mirror the conditions of independent business people’s, Mariotti believes. “Many of these kids have ‘chutzpah,’ and have learned to deal with a volatile, unpredictable world, and that’s [like] the world of independent business,” he says. Owning a business isn’t easy, and isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile for everyone to learn about it, Mariotti maintains. “A lot of people don’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to own,” he says. “Not everyone will choose the path of the entrepreneur, and that’s fine. But having whole communities never given the opportunity to think about ownership is a tragedy. “To me, there should be a class in every school to learn how to start a business.”


National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship Our goal is to educate young people, many of whom struggle in school, in the workings of our economy, what place they can have in it, and how they can access and create opportunities to help improve their lives. Early research is showing powerful connections between NFTE's program and increased school engagement among hard-to-reach youth, as well as increased interest in attending college. A true testament to the impact of our program is the success of our students -- students such as Omar Faruk, who recently became the first and youngest recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award. Omar and his family emigrated from Bangladesh to New York City in 1997. Three years ago, Omar started BlueStream to build websites for nonprofits. NFTE alumnus Jasmine Lawrence, age 15, was recently featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. Jasmine is CEO of Eden Body Works, a line of all-natural hair and body products that was recently picked up by WalMart (NYSE: WMT) and Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI) stores. All in all, NFTE served more than 32,000 young people this year thanks to the help of supporters like The Motley Fool and the Fool community. NFTE is in the process of launching a microfinance initiative with to connect alumni in need of small start-up loans with interested lenders. We're also continuing to expand our alumni services area to better support our alumni who continue to launch or expand their businesses after completing the program. NFTE ( is grateful for the opportunity we had to participate in Foolanthropy 2006. Your investment has helped economically disadvantaged young people gain critical entrepreneurial skills so they can find a pathway to prosperity -- thank you for your commitment to our mission!


YOUNG BIZ WHIZ SALVAGES TOP HONORS BY JOYCE SHELBY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Friday, May 19th 2006, 7:19AM WHEN NATHANIEL Younger was 13, he went to Chinatown, bought some fake Rolex watches for $10 and began a booming Internet business. Younger, now 21, sold the watches on eBay for $110 to $120. "I was totally honest about it," said Younger, who lives in Williamsburg. "We think of those watches as a joke in New York, but people in other parts of the country don't. I made a lot of money until everybody caught on to the idea and started undercutting me." Younger was not deterred. The watch business led to another brainstorm - and yesterday Younger was named a Bank of America Young Entrepreneur yesterday and collected a $750 prize. "The idea is to reach out to young people who have an entrepreneurial spirit, to nourish that spirit, cherish it and direct it," said Peter Kostmayer, president of Citizens for NYC, which administered the contest. Brooklyn's other winning entrepreneurs were: Mohammed Omar Faruk, 17, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, who creates and manages Web sites and sells 300 products through his Internet firm, Bluestream Corp., and Sergey Makogon, 18, of Brighton Beach. Makogon owns and operates Auctions Geek, a company that sells items on eBay for people who don't know how. The two entrepreneurs each received $300. For Younger, getting pushed out of the fake Rolex watch market led him to the business that won him yesterday's award - salvaging. With his watch profits, Younger bought a motorcycle for $3,200. "I crashed it because I didn't know how to ride it," Younger said. Fortunately, he did know how to fix the cycle and sold it on eBay. He got $3,000 and a phone call. "The guy who bought it said I should have disclosed the salvage history," said Younger, adding that he'd never heard of one. "But there was no bad blood because he was happy with the bike." Through the phone call, Younger discovered the world of salvaging. "I realized there was a good opportunity to buy cars at a cheap rate, fix them, resell them and make money," he said. "A Toyota can be made to look like something very exotic, and maintenance is far less expensive."


Young Entrepreneurs to Close the Day at NASDAQ But Usher in the Future.

Publication: Business Wire Date: Monday, February 26 2007 Merrill Lynch and ICIC Honor Young Entrepreneurs, Announce Nominations for the 2007 Growing Up CEO Program and Release New Research on Youth and Entreprenuership NEW YORK -- ICIC: WHAT: The closing bell on the NASDAQ trading floor tomorrow will be sounded by a group of young entrepreneurs whose companies are opening new opportunities for residents of America's inner cities. Representatives from the Growing Up CEO program, a nationwide initiative to identify inner city entrepreneurs under the age of 21, will participate in the closing-bell ceremony that recognizes Feb. 24 Mar. 3 as national EntrepreneurshipWeek USA.

Following the closing-bell ceremony, the young entrepreneurs will attend a networking gathering at Merrill Lynch's downtown headquarters.

In 2005, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a nonprofit economic development organization founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter, partnered with Merrill Lynch to launch the Growing Up CEO program, which each year recognizes the entrepreneurial accomplishments of 25 US and 5 international inner city CEOs, all of whom are under 21 and most are still in high school.


Among the participants in the closing ceremonies is Omar Faruk (19), CEO of Blue Stream Media Corp., a company that designs websites for small businesses. Faruk, one of 10 children, founded Blue Stream when he was 17. His family immigrated to the U.S. in 1997, without money and only rudimentary English language skills.

Weina Scott (17), the co-creator of, which gives users space to upload audio and video programs as pod casts is another participant and an applicant for this year's Growing Up CEO program. was purchased in 2006 by publicly traded Wizzard Software (OTCBB: WIZD), an inner city Pittsburgh-based company.

RESEARCH: ICIC will also be releasing new research, Starting Young, Staying Strong, compiled over last 8 years on inner city entrepreneurs who started businesses when they were young. For more information visit,


Among the people attending the event at Merrill Lynch include, Ahmass Fakahany, Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer Merrill Lynch; Eddy Bayardelle, President of the Merrill Lynch Foundation; Dorothy A. Terrell, President and CEO of ICIC; Steve Mariotti, Founder and Chairman of NFTE; Judith Cone, VP of The Kauffman Foundation; and many young entrepreneurs.


Merrill Lynch Headquarters, 250 Vessey Street, New York,

NY 10281


6:00 - 8:00 PM - photo and interview opportunities


Whiz Kids: America’s Next Business Tycoons


EntrepreneurshipWeek USA Kicks Off with Workshops, Networking Opportunities The first-ever educational event is designed to promote business ownership among high-school and college students. By Angus Loten | Feb 27, 2007 When he was nine years old, Omar Faruk immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh with nine brothers and sisters, little money, and only a rudimentary grasp of the English language. A decade later, Faruk, whose Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Web-design firm grossed $40,000 last year, was on hand to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq on Monday as part of a nationwide kickoff for EntrepreneurshipWeek USA. "It's amazing," said Faruk, who's now 18 and a high school senior. "My family came here looking for the American Dream. I mean, that can really happen." The notion that starting your own business is a real possibility for young people is exactly what organizers hope to instill with EntrepreneurshipWeek, a broad educational effort sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Inc. magazine, and The New York Times, among others, to promote business ownership among high-school and college students. Congress last year established a ceremonial national entrepreneurship week. The week-long event features thousands of programs across the nation, including workshops, mentoring programs, contests, panel discussions, and networking opportunities with business leaders, government officials, venture capitalists, and others. Among other initiatives, it includes a day-long mentoring program at New York University, an Entrepreneur Idol contest in Philadelphia, and a best lemonade stand contest in Charleston, W.Va. The event culminates with an entrepreneurial policy forum in Washington, with Steven Preston, head of the Small Business Administration. "Educating our young people about entrepreneurship and reinforcing the value that entrepreneurs and innovators bring to our economy is critical to America's long-term prosperity -- more so now than ever before," said Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo.-based entrepreneurial funding and research group. On Saturday, Schramm hosted the event's inaugural launch at Stanford University with university president John Hennessy and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, among other high-profile guests. Later this week, Todd Stottlmeyer, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's largest small-business lobby group with more than 600,000 members, will personally mentor about 25 students in a fashion-marketing class at a Fairfax County public school. The school is one of 27 participating in the group's Entrepreneurship-in-the-Classroom pilot project, which provides educators with free resources to teach entrepreneurship skills. Meanwhile, the National Venture Capital Association, a Washington-based policy trade group, organized an essay-writing contest on innovative new products at high schools in California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.


The contest, which was open to students from grades one through 12, sought out new ideas and products that would solve common day-to-day problems. Entries ranged from a GPS-navigated walking cane for the blind to a locator beeper for missing cell phones and TV remote controls, organizers said. "Our commitment to energizing the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs has never been greater," Mark Heesen, the group's president, said in a statement. By enabling young entrepreneurs to get innovations to the market, venture capitalists share the goals of EntrepreneurshipWeek, Heesen said. "I think it's crucial to get these skills at a young age," Faruk said. "I'd love to see entrepreneurship classes at my high school. It would be fun." Copyright © 2010 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved., 7 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007-2195.


AMNY: Teen entrepreneur building the American dream BY FARNOOSH TORABI December 4, 2006
When Mohammed Omar Faruk emigrated from Bangladesh in 1997, he didn't have high hopes for a better life in New York City. "My parents dragged me here," the 18-year-old said. He remembers his early days in the city, sharing an overcrowded apartment in BedfordStuyvesant with as many as seven family members. His English was pretty limited at first. "The only words I knew were, 'Me no English,'" he said. But Faruk, now a senior at Independent High School in Manhattan, has made amazing strides. Perhaps most exceptionally, he's managed to outpace the average American teen by starting his own business called BlueStream Corp. The Web-based business,, helps non-profit organizations build their Web sites and learn computer skills at an affordable rate. "What may cost them thousands of dollars [for a Web site], we do for a few hundred," Faruk said. The teen started the venture about two years ago with about $3,000 in grant money and an additional $1,000 investment from his brother-in-law. He also used credit cards. Faruk figures he's raised about $40,000 from the initial funding. Recently he's also started a non-profit company, The Action Network, which strives to increase volunteerism in low-income communities in the city. That, Faruk said, speaks to his deep interest in social issues. Faruk showed signs of entrepreneurship early on. In the seventh grade, he enrolled in a summer program sponsored by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, or NFTE. During the course, he learned economics, business ethics and how to start his own business. "I didn't really make much of it during that time, but I was learning," he said. Into high school, Faruk returned to NFTE, this time as a certified entrepreneurship teacher. It was then that he refined his ideas for BlueStream Corp. NFTE recognized his endeavors by naming him its 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year. He's also the youngest recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


While his business achievements rank high, Faruk admits his academic record is not as impressive. "My teachers would agree I'm a smart kid ... but my grades suffered. I'm not the perfect 'A' student," he said, considering most of his time is spent on the business, in addition to extracurricular activities like student government. Helping out his large and extended family has also been a major priority; Faruk's mother often needs his help translating English. Because of his grades, Faruk knows his goals of attending Babson College, the country's top business school for entrepreneurship, will have to wait. In the meantime, he plans on staying in the city for a couple of years after graduating high school and attending a state university before transferring to his dream school. Farnoosh Torabi is a video correspondent for Reach her at


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