All posts tagged: business

Teens Win Prestigious Awards at National Competition

FedEx recognizes teen entrepreneurs for an innovative business plan to drive job creation and protect the environment

For Immediate Release

City of Coconut Creek, Florida (June 29, 2022) — At the 2022 Junior Achievement (JA) National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) held June 19th-23rd, student-run company Ecossentials from NSU University School won the Global Possibilities Award, presented by FedEx, and the ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award.

For the Global Possibilities Award, Ecossentials, as evaluated by a special FedEx panel, represented the best business plan with the potential to create jobs and grow small businesses with environmental sustainability. While the ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award was presented to Ecossentials for performing the best against criteria including profitability, investor expectations, employee earnings, product quality, leadership, and operational efficiency.

Junior Achievement’s National Student Leadership Summit is a contest of business skills, ingenuity, and innovation that focuses on the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 15-18, during the 2021-2022 academic year. Administered under JA Fellows, this program provides teens the opportunity to start and run their own businesses under the mentorship of a local business volunteer. JA Fellows is the “go to” learn-by-doing entrepreneurial and business experience for middle and high school students. Students gain real-world business experience by working in groups of 20-25, conceptualizing, capitalizing and managing their own small businesses. Throughout this 10-month, real-life entrepreneurship program, students develop communication, financial management, problem-solving, collaboration and time management skills, just to name a few.

During the National Student Leadership Summit three-day event, the teen-run companies compete for several awards, engage in several virtual seminars led by national experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and business, and virtually pitch their companies to a panel of judges comprised of business leaders.

“For the 7th consecutive year, Junior Achievement of South Florida has had a JA Fellows team represent us at this prestigious national competition. We applaud all 550 students who participated this year for their outstanding efforts, our teachers, mentors, and community partners who continue to support our entrepreneurship education efforts,” said Laurie Sallarulo, JA President & CEO. “Congratulations to Ecossentials for winning these two awards!”

“At FedEx, we believe a connected world is a better world. We empower everyone from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies to reach customers all over the world”, said Rose Flenorl, manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx. “FedEx’s Global Possibilities platform celebrates the power of global connectivity and the next generation of innovators on the verge of the next big idea. The Global Possibilities Award recognizes a student-run business that best exhibits the principles of global connectivity: Driven by Innovation, Connecting to New Markets, Fueling Community Development and Sustainable and Social Responsibility.”

“After realizing how harmful plastics are to the environment and the thousands of innocent animals that die daily from plastic globally, the Ecossentials team knew we needed to make a change. Our main focus is to provide consumers with the most convenient way to make the switch from plastic products to an eco-friendlier and more sustainable alternative with as minimal effort as possible,” said CEO Kayla Bigelman, who was responsible for managing the company’s overall operations.

The Ecossentials Daily Essentials Pouch provides individuals a convenient way to improve their self-care while drastically benefiting the global environment with minimal effort. The pouch includes a bamboo toothbrush with a holder, bamboo hairbrush, plantable pen with an encapsulated seed and 100% botanical soap all in a canvas pouch. Learn more at

About Junior Achievement of South Florida

Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA) inspires and prepares youth to succeed in a global economy. JA provides real-world training in financial literacy including budgeting, spending, investing and the use of credit; offers cutting-edge skill-building opportunities that enable young people to explore meaningful, productive careers; teaches students how to start businesses; and introduces entrepreneurial values that strengthen workplaces. Last year, with the help of 7,100 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered 20+ programs to over 54,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach counties and at JA World Huizenga Center at the Lillian S. Wells Pavilion, a first-class facility housing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, visit Follow JA on social media @jasouthflorida.

About Junior Achievement USA® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 2.5 million students per year in 103 markets across the United States as part of 10 million students served by operations in 100 other countries worldwide. Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide. Visit for more information.

For More Information, Contact:
Christopher Miller, Senior Marketing. Media Production Manager
Junior Achievement of South Florida
(954) 979-7110

Teens Win Prestigious Awards at National Competition
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10 Million Reasons for Work and Career Readiness Education

Author: Jack E. Kosakowski, President & CEO of Junior Achievement USA

Recently, and for the first time, the number of job openings in the United States exceeded 10 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) Report. At the same time, there are more than 7 million who are eligible to work but who are unemployed.

Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of conversation around what’s happening in the American workforce. This includes “The Great Resignation,” where record numbers of workers are quitting their jobs, citing everything from pandemic-related burnout and lagging wages to a complete reassessment of what a job should be in light of everything our society has experienced recently. When you hear these accounts, it’s natural to assume that this is a short-term issue that will work itself out over time as COVID-19 becomes more manageable and people get to the point where they must work to provide for themselves and their families.

The fact is, there is a longer-term problem at hand. Even before the pandemic, employers were struggling to find qualified workers. This had been an issue for several years. However, the difference between now and then is that record numbers of qualified professionals, primarily Baby Boomers, accelerated their plans for retirement during the pandemic. Unfortunately, while one of the most skilled generations in our nation has begun to move out of the workforce en masse, there aren’t similarly skilled younger workers prepared to take their place. More than anything else, this reality could help explain why there are 10 million job openings in need of qualified applicants and so few who can fill them.

The question is, “Why aren’t today’s younger workers more inclined or better prepared to take on these roles?” Ironically, Millennials are one of the most educated generations in history. Unfortunately, according to a 2015 study from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), that education failed to sufficiently cover critical skills needed for employment, including STEM, communication, and critical problem-solving, for too many members of that generation. Additionally, in terms of career aspirations, a 2019 survey by Morning Consult showed that 86 percent of teens and young adults were interested in “Social Media Influencer” as a career choice.

Now, this isn’t to say every teen or young adult is on YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram trying to be the next Kim Kardashian or Jake Paul. For instance, the top college majors as of 2021 still focus on critically needed professions like business, healthcare, engineering, and education. And there are millions of Millennials and Gen-Zers who are finding work and career success in those and many other fields. But when our young people look to career role models, should it be surprising that those role models come from something they are extremely familiar with, like social media, and not engineering, for instance?

The truth is, as a society, we need to do a better job of tying education to work and career outcomes so that we don’t end up with such a significant disparity between people looking for jobs and jobs looking for people. This includes helping young people draw the connection between what they are learning in school and its application to success outside of the classroom. This means helping students explore their interests, talents, and strengths and linking them to an educational pathway that results in the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies needed to find meaningful and rewarding jobs and careers. This also means putting them in contact with successful professionals in their communities who can serve as role models to inspire them to be the next engineer, technician, educator, skilled tradesperson, or physician, and not necessarily the next social media star.

Junior Achievement learning experiences do just that. As the result of JA’s work and career readiness pathways approach, which complements similar coursework in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, our program alumni tell us that Junior Achievement played a significant role in increasing their educational attainment, professional development, and career satisfaction. Part of our educational delivery includes engaging professionals from the local community as volunteers to deliver our learning experiences while sharing their work and career journeys with students. The combination of our volunteer delivery model and curriculum has been shown to inspire and prepare young people to find work and career success as adults.

10 Million Reasons for Work and Career Readiness Education
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The Impact of COVID-19 on Business and Innovation

Presented by Junior Achievement USA

A Guide to How Entrepreneurs and Businesses are Responding to COVID-19

COVID-19’s Impact on Business Unlike other viruses, such as the seasonal flu or common cold, the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is considered a “novel,” or new, virus because humans have had little exposure to it. Hence, we don’t have readily available treatments, like a vaccine, to prevent people from getting sick from COVID-19. As a result, the first line of defense against the disease is called “social distancing.” This means people are being encouraged not to be around other people unless it is necessary.

In many cities and states, officials require so-called “non-essential” businesses to either reduce their operations or close completely to promote social distancing. While these businesses are referred to as non-essential, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. But it does mean that their closure will help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Businesses affected include restaurants, which in many cases must close their dining areas, even though they can still prepare food for delivery or take out. Others that must close completely include hair salons, clothing stores, and various retail establishments that don’t offer what are considered “essential” products or services, such as food or medicine.

Due to these restrictions and closures, businesses large and small have had to release many of their employees. This means people who worked for these businesses lost their jobs either temporarily, through a furlough, or permanently, through a layoff. Many of these people are eligible for unemployment benefits, which means that they will receive some amount of money from the government to help pay basic expenses like rent, house payments, and food. The hope is that non-essential business closures will only last a few months and that people will be able to go back to work in the not-too-distant future.

Click here to read the full report

The Impact of COVID-19 on Business and Innovation
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