2018 National JA Company of The Year

Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio is proud to be represented by The United States JA Company of the Year Beelieve, from North Canton Hoover High School, at the 2018 National Student Leadership Summit held June 18 - June 21, in Washington, DC.

Congratulations to Business Educator Mike Grady and JA Business Volunteer Joe Rozsa, owner of Site 14, for their collaborative partnership to help senior students learn about business ownership.

Winning students at the national competition were: Julia Crawford, Jonathan Hughes, Nick Lehmier, Ivan Dong and Reid Bullock.

Beelieve's innovative idea was to preserve the bee population with handcrafted seed bombs.

They were among 72 students selected to compete at the annual competition in Washington DC. The 4-part competition included development of an annual report, commercial, tradeshow booth and 4-minute presentation pitch. The tradeshow portion of the competition was held in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Capital with members of Congress, and the pitch presentation was held in the McDonough School of Business auditorium at Georgetown University. Students sold 5,016 seed bombs in 8 months grossing $3,744 in sales. Each student received $6,500 in scholarships - $4,000 from The Hartford and $2,500 from The Achievement Foundation.

In addition to being named JA Company of the Year, the student-led JA Company Beelieve also received the Delta Social Impact Award for creating a realistic, achievable and innovative product that can solve a local, national, or global problem. 

"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," explained Dawn L. Campanelli, President of Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio. "We are most grateful for everyone who supported Junior Achievement locally to enhance the business acumen of 80 students in 12 startup businesses at North Canton, GlenOak, Lake, Marlington and Sandy Valley high schools this past school year." 

Local entrepreneurship programming support for Junior Achievement of East Central Ohio is generously provided by The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, The Hoover Foundation, The Deuble Foundation, Fred Olivieri Construction Company, Coast Pet Products Inc., The Belden Brick Company, A.A. Hammersmith Insurance, E-Tank Ltd., Olde Wood Ltd. Garner Financial Services Inc - State Farm, and the Ohio Small Business Development Center. 

The Junior Achievement National Student Leadership Summit is made possible by the generous support of The Hartford, Delta Air Lines, EY, FedEx, and ICE NYSE.

Junior Achievement is the nation's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement's programs—in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy—ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.