Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) budding entrepreneurs recently completed Junior Achievement’s JA Fellows business and leadership program for high school students. The 18-week entrepreneurship program is designed to inspire high school students to develop, grow and foster a successful enterprise. As participants of the JA Fellows program, students gain real-world business experience by working in teams of 15-20 to conceptualize, capitalize and manage their own small business.
The program culminates with a competition at JA World Huizenga Center at Broward College. This year, finalists from 10 high school student-led companies, mentored by volunteer business professionals, went head-to-head at the program’s finale. Each team showcased
and presented their company’s success to an impressive group of business leaders serving as guest judges.
Students competed for scholarships, awards and the coveted title of Company of the Year, which was awarded to team Wov-In from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Team Wov-In also received awards for Best Commercial and Best Annual Report. Team Hydrowalkers from McFatter Technical High School received the Best Stage Presentation award.
Individual awards for Outstanding Young Business Person were presented to Erika Alban, McFatter Technical High School, Abigail Hyde and Aquilla Williams, Atlantic Technical High School and Vanessa Zetrenne, College Academy at Broward College, who also each received a $10,000 Horatio Alger Junior Achievement scholarship.
“A program like JA Fellows helps to provide students with vital work readiness skills, such as customer service, inventory management and market research,” said Laurie Sallarulo, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. “Like any successful small business startup, the student companies must also create robust financial management and communication plans. These are useful skills that will benefit their future employers and provide a successful framework for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”