In total the four companies amassed sales of over $40,000 during the 13-week fall program. Jennifer Taniguchi of Simplicity received the top salesperson honors with $3,534 in revenue. The Best Sales Presentation award went to Laurel Fongblatt and Brandon Aguiar of team Kulia I Ka Nu’u whose company also won the Most Green Business Award.
In addition to providing the hands-on experience of manufacturing and selling products, the program also impresses on students the need for companies to support their community. The four JA companies participated in dozens of activities including visiting the elderly and veterans, making cards for oversees troops and packing Operation Christmas Child boxes. Kulia I Ka Nu’u won the Outstanding Community Award.
This marks the twenty-sixth year that Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island provided scholarship awards to the seniors participating in the company program. The scholarships are funded from the JA taxes assessed on the companies’ sales. This year, $4,000 in scholarships were awarded to five deserving students including; Cherese Shelton of Keaau High School, Lakisha Kyrie Victorino-Hose of Hilo High School, Sienna Witthans of Kamehameha, Becky Kyota of Waiakea High School and Becky Zheng also from Waiakea.
The final award of the evening was presented to the Outstanding Company of the Year, Simplicity, sponsored by Bank of Hawaii. Bank of Hawaii’s team advisors this year were Larisa Hamamoto, Renee Keamo, Russell Rodriguez, Alan Shiraishi and Art Taniguchi.
“I am continuously impressed with the student achievers' commitment and participation in the program, especially since it is voluntary, said lead advisor Alan Shiraishi “Their ‘can-do’ attitudes and contagious enthusiasm turn their struggles into successful learning experiences.”
In addition to the Company Program conducted each fall, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island teaches business and economics to over 3,500 East Hawaii students, from kindergarten through high school each year. For more information about JA programs on the Big Island please contact District Manager Susan Labrenz at firstname.lastname@example.org.