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JA Mission Plays Out in Student Achievements

Since 1919, Junior Achievement (JA) has focused on building the future. By teaching young people financial and career skills, JA helps set a foundation on which to build a thriving tomorrow.

It's a far-reaching investment that requires patience, but the payoff is life changing.

Recently, this empowering mission has taken center stage as JA of North Central Ohio (JANCO) has had many reasons to celebrate local students.

This past April, 13 student-run companies from Stark and Medina Counties competed at the JA Entrepreneurship Challenge & Expo as a culmination of their year-long JA Company Program experience. This legacy program provides unparalleled hands-on experience by allowing high schoolers to create and run their own companies. Of the teams from Cloverleaf, GlenOak, Hoover, Jackson and Lake High Schools, five applied for the opportunity to compete on a national level.

A historic three teams (Brain Wave and InnoVistics from Hoover HS and Sababa from Lake HS) were selected to attend the JA National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) in Washington DC this June.

"This is only the second time in JA NSLS history that three companies from a single area are part of the 15 teams of finalists," said Lori McCleese, President of NCO. "To say that we are incredibly honored, and humbled, is an understatement. It is truly a credit to the dedication and time investment of the students, teachers and classroom volunteers."

Over the course of the 3-day event, teens will not only present their companies and participate in a live trade show, but additionally network with peers and industry experts from across the country. Updated competition news can be found by following JANCO’s social accounts (@JANCOhio on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn).

But Stark County isn't the only area making a splash! This week, Hudson High School students from Emily Barger’s Business Club put their business skills to the test against 26 other teams in the 2022 JA Titan® National Virtual Competition, presented by Janus Henderson Investors. Like the JA Company Program, the JA Titan virtual simulation gives young people an insider view of business operations through role playing as CEOs, allowing them to experience firsthand how organizations evaluate alternatives, make decisions, analyze the outcomes, and build adaptive strategy.

After 3 rounds of competition, Barger's students placed in top third of teams, ranking 9th, 11th and 14th.

“I could not be more proud of the club this year,” said Barger. “The students have been working so hard leading up to this, and I love seeing them build strategy and work as a team with so much excitement and comradery!”

Congratulations Hudson High School students!

While JA’s mission is to teach empowering financial literacy skills during a student’s kindergarten through high school career, NCO also seeks to set individuals on the road to success. Awarding scholarships to graduating seniors is one way JA helps promote lifelong learning.

This year, NCO awarded 7 scholarships to seniors who demonstrated the spirit of JA's mission and shared its impact on their educational journeys.

JANCO is honored to award scholarships to the following students as they take their next education steps:

The Dave Rowekamp & Wooster Brush Company Memorial Scholarship:

  • Kayla Ling of Wayne County Schools Career Center (Wooster High School), attending the Stark State College; and
  • Jayne Wallace of Orrville High School, attending Ohio University.

The JA of North Central Ohio Scholarship:

  • Amya Evans of Kenmore-Garfield High School, attending Kent State University;
  • Kelsey Hill of Jackson High School, attending Miami University;
  • Rachel Noebe of Hoover High School, attending John Carroll University;
  • Olivia Windham of Lake High School, attending Ohio University; and
  • Charles Zerrer of Hoover High School, attending Miami University.

Congratulations, class of 2022!

Media Contacts:

Lori McCleese
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio
(330) 433-0063

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