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2010 Americas Region Junior Achievement Company of the Year Competition Winner
For Immediate Release:
ECUADORAN TEENS WIN 2010
Student company bests 17 other finalists to take regional title.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — On Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Junior Achievement crowned "Cu$hqui Pocket" - a team of teen entrepreneurs from Quito Pichincha, Ecuador - the winners of the 2010 Americas Region JA Company of the Year Competition, sponsored by HP and FedEx.
Cu$hqui Pocket was comprised of Junior Achievement students from Collegio Alberto Einstein -and bested 17 other student companies by demonstrating superior performance and innovation. Their company produced wallets made from recycled tetra packs (juice or milk cartons). The company had a strong focus on environmentally sustainable practices and donated a portion of its profits to Catholic Relief Services to support to projects in Haiti.
Second place went to "Juggly JA" of ISM International Academy, also from Quito Pichincha, Ecuador. The Juggly JA produced "foot bags" (hacky-sacks) from recycled leather, filled with bird seeds. Their products were made with 100 percent locally sourced, biodegradable materials. The company incorporated social responsibility by providing jobs to underprivileged women, by donating product to a local children's nonprofit, and by donating food and hygiene items to Haitian relief organizations.
Third place was won by "Rondo," from the Villa Maria Planicie School in Lima, Peru, which made Lazy Susans (two-level wooden turntables). A "Rising Star" Award was presented to "4NR JA" from the Church of God in Christ United School in Jamaica. The Jamaican team produced colorful ringer t-shirts and silicone wristbands, emblazoned with positive messages to inspire young people.
The competition is Junior Achievement's celebration of the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 15-19, in the Americas Region (South America, Central America and the Caribbean). The finalists showcased their enterprise and business acumen before a panel of independent judges who evaluated each company's performance against the competition criteria, which includes an annual report, a four-minute business presentation before an audience, a trade booth display, and a final interview with the judging panel. One of the competition's goals is to measure each team's business achievements with members' individual personal development and knowledge.
"This competition is an exciting opportunity for Junior Achievement student entrepreneurs to demonstrate the teamwork, leadership, innovation and business skills that will empower them to own their economic success in the 21st-century global marketplace," said Sean C. Rush, president and chief executive officer of JA Worldwide®. "The event also promotes networking, making cross-cultural connections and sharing ideas-all while learning the value of social responsibility."
Eligibility for the 2010 Americas Region JA Student Company of the Year Competition was limited to qualifying student teams that completed JA Company Program during the 2009-2010 academic year. During JA Company Program, students start and run their own businesses with support from a local business volunteer. Students devise their product and then market it, with the objective of realizing a profit for shareholders. The program currently impacts more than 360,000 students a year globally.
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