Local JA students win national awards

June 22, 2016

On Wednesday, June 22, in Washington, D.C., the teen entrepreneurs of Leozarb and Rhidian Tech from Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest received national honors at Junior Achievement’s National Student Leadership Summit. The teams were selected to receive the awards from among 15 competing student companies representing JA operations across the country.

Leozarb received the 2016 Social Innovation Award Presented by EY by applying entrepreneurial thinking to create a realistic, achievable, and innovative solution. The students created an interactive ebook to more effectively teach the Spanish language.

Rhidian Tech won the FedEx Access Award. The student company, as evaluated by a special FedEx jury, presented the best business plan with the potential to create jobs and grow small businesses with environmental sustainability. Rhidian Tech created an app to help solve educational problems.

The Mounds View High School students founded their student-led companies as part of their participation in JA Company Program®, in which high school students start and run a real business enterprise under the guidance of a volunteer from the local business community. The teens devise a product designed to fill an unmet consumer need, produce and market their product or service, and recruit investors for their company.

“I’m proud that our local students have been recognized on a national level for their outstanding entrepreneurial thinking. These teens truly demonstrate how entrepreneurship helps solve some of our world’s biggest challenges,” said Gina Blayney, JAUM President & CEO.

During the week in Washington, D.C., the teen-run companies participated in an Entrepreneurship Expo on Capitol Hill during which they presented their product or service to Members of Congress. The teens’ companies were evaluated on their financial performance, on an interview with the judging panel and on a formal presentation.