For the second year in a row, Hoover High School took home top honors at the Junior Achievement National Student Leadership Summit.
Simple Starters, a company in Hoover’s business management class, was named the 2019 Junior Achievement Company of the Year. The company also earned the Intercontinental Exchange NYSE Best Financial Performance Award.
Both Simple Starters and GlenOak High School’s Bats Around Town represented the Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio at the Washington event this week. The companies were part of a group of 15 finalists narrowed from more than 50 companies nationwide.
Simple Starters is run by CEO Nick Friedl, Trevor Most, Nic Dematteis, Zach Gotter, Ally Bercaw, Andrew Wells, Jamason Petree, Joshua Salinas, and Payton Lambes. The students were all seniors in in Mike Grady’s business management class. They were mentored by Joe Rozsa.
The five students who represented Simple Starters in Washington each received a $2,500 scholarship from The Achievement Foundation.
The company set out to impact the community and help tackle the problem of teenage mental health, according to a news release from the school.
Simple Starters creates cards that stimulate conversation and meaningful dialogue between teens and their families and friends. The packs are offered in both “fun” and “sincere” varieties, each containing 35 cards printed with a question.
“We as teens know what teens want to talk about,” Friedl said in a February Canton Repository article.
The cards can be purchased at simplestartersja.com and on Amazon.
The company generated more than $13,500 in sales in its first seven months. They donated $3,800 of those sales to the Dymonte Thomas Community Foundation and to Perry High School.
“Youth entrepreneurship education thrives at the high school level because the JA Company Program connects students pursuing business, finance and marketing careers with a real world-of-work experience to understand the risks and rewards of running a company with help from business mentors to inspire them to turn ‘first attempts in learning’ into improved business performance,” Dawn L. Campanelli, president of Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio, said in a statement.
Bats Around Town is made up of students Brody Parsons, Ian Gill, Alex Grimm, Jared Poirrier, Justin Klotz and Zipporah Moore, alongside business educator Amanda DeFay.
The company built and sold hand-crafted bat houses to raise awareness about the importance of the bat population to our environment. They donated $650 to the Akron Zoo’s bat program.