Business startup program for teens kicks off Saturday

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS: Students from Guam attended the Junior Achievement Asia Pacific Company of the Year event held March 13 in Makati, Philippines. At the event, Junior Achievement of Guam was represented by Astraea, from Simon Sanchez High School’s Guam Community College marketing program; and Napu, sponsored by GTA. Junior Achievement of Guam is a nonprofit that has served more than 5,000 Guam students since 1976, according to the organization's website. Through the program, high school students fill a need or solve a problem in their community by launching a business venture. From left: Julie Cheng, a junior at St. John's School; Sophia Dobrowolski, a junior at Simon Sanchez High School; Devin Patawaran, a junior at Sanchez; Devin Duque, a junior at Sanchez; Roxanne Mikel, a junior at St. John's; Luna Puangco, a senior at St. John's; and Everlee Falawaath, a senior at Sanchez. Photo courtesy of the Junior Achievement Guam.

Student entrepreneurs with Junior Achievement Guam will be kicking off their annual program on Saturday at the Agana Shopping Center.

Saturday's event will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. JA students will be introduced to their sponsors, whom they will partner with for the next 16 weeks. However, high school students who were not able to sign up beforehand but are interested in the program will also be able to apply and be matched with a company at the event.

On Saturday, each company sponsor will have a booth where they will showcase their skills and experience for JA students as well as those who may be interested in joining Junior Achievement. The event will also include games and activities for attendees. 

JA Guam is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching youths about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, and has served more than 5,000 Guam students since 1976, according to the press release. The JA Guam Company Program is an after-school program geared toward high school students, according to its website. This program provides an insight into the development of a business structure and will offer students real-world experience by creating their own companies with the help and mentorship of representatives from sponsors. Students will learn the organizational background of a business and create, market and eventually sell their product or service. They also will learn how to liquidate a company toward the end of the 16-week structure. The program showcases each student-owned company’s prowess as they produce an annual report, compete in a business presentation and sell their products at trade fairs.

In addition to company sponsors, JA’s Company Program is supported by Guam Community College DECA programs and the Guam Department of Education.

For this program cycle there are seven company sponsors:

• Bank of Guam;

• Bank of Hawaii;

• Coast 360 Federal Credit Union;

• Ernst & Young;

• GTA;

• Pacific Islands Club; and

• United Airlines.

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