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Student Entrepreneurs Shine at JA Entrepreneurship Challenge & Expo

It’s 1:30 PM on Thursday, April 21, 2022 and students are on the edges of their seats. But they’re not waiting for the final bell; they’re about to find out who won the 2022 Junior Achievement (JA) Entrepreneurship Challenge & Expo (JA Expo).

Since the fall, over 80 students from Cloverleaf, GlenOak, Jackson, Lake and North Canton Hoover High Schools have been working above and beyond their college-prep and advanced classwork, extracurriculars, sports and jobs – they started businesses. Through the JA Company Program, teens solve problems with innovative solutions and then make those solutions come to life with the help of teachers and industry-expert volunteers.

Their year-long dedication culminated at the JA Expo, where teams were judged on live presentations and trade show exhibits, as well as previously submitted annual reports and commercials. The event kicked off with JA of North Central Ohio President Lori McCleese welcoming attendees and sharing JA’s vision.

“Junior Achievement envisions a world where young people have the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities.  I have been so impressed watching all of you over the past eight months, I have no doubt every student in this room will do exactly that,” said McCleese in her opening remarks as she unveiled the new Junior Achievement global brand and vision statement.

Keynote speaker Tiffany Roper, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Eat Speak Love and OH SNAP Photo Lab, offered the students advice from her entrepreneurial journey. “Sponsorship and mentorship are key to success. You need people who are willing to say your name in rooms you’ve never been in.  You need surround yourself with people who believe in you and want to see you win.”

Ultimately, InnoVistics of Hoover High School placed first with Sababa (Lake High School) and Stock and Store (Lake High School) taking second and third. Additional Signature Awards were presented to the following companies:

  • Financial Performance: Brain Wave (Hoover High School)
  • Social Impact: Sababa (Lake High School)
  • Best Commercial: InnoVistics (Hoover High School)
  • Best Annual Report: Rememory (GlenOak High School)
  • Best Live Presentation: InnoVistics (Hoover High School)
  • Best Trade Show Booth: Brain Wave (Hoover High School)

James Halmasy of Brain Wave (Hoover High School) received the Burton D. Morgan Foundation Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.

Source: Medina Gazette


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