(July 9, 2016 – Broward, FL) - Two teams of local, budding entrepreneurs from Broward County recently competed on a national stage when they were selected to present at Junior Achievement’s National Student Leadership Summit. The student-run companies, Alpha Essentials representing NSU University School and FitKit representing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, took their innovative products and creative sales pitches to Washington D.C. to compete against the best teams from around the country.
“We could not be more proud that out of the 14,000 students and 700 companies who participate in the JA Company Program nationwide, two of the 15 finalist teams would be from right here in South Florida,” said Laurie Sallarulo, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida. “These young people are our future business leaders and entrepreneurs who will shape and enrich the economic future of Broward County.”
When the winners were announced at the gala dinner on Wednesday, June 22, there was a round of applause for the Alpha-Essentials team, who placed 3rd in the ‘JA Company of the Year’ category. Each team member - Andrew Hurowitz, Cole Becker, Alexis Bogomolni, Evan Gutkin and Alexander Shuster - also won a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of The Hartford. Their company created the KarKit, a convenient bag of car safety and personal essentials. The kit includes 12 items: a window breaker/seatbelt cutter tool, first aid kit, tire gauge, hand wipes, tissues, deodorant, led flashlight keychain, stain remover, breath freshener, rain poncho, multi function pocket survival tool and anti texting/driving pledge card.
“For as long as I can remember, my passion has been entrepreneurship, and Junior Achievement allowed me to realize my potential and explore the possibilities of the business world. I know that I will be able to apply the valuable lessons I learned throughout the program to my future endeavors,” said Andrew Hurowitz, an in-coming senior at NSU University School and CEO of Alpha Essentials.
JA Fellows, part of the JA Company Program, is an entrepreneurship program that inspires high school students to incubate and foster a successful enterprise. Under the guidance of local business leaders, students gain real-world business experience by working in teams of 20 to conceptualize, capitalize and manage their own small business.
“The JA program truly provides the kids with a core curriculum of leadership in a collaborative environment,” said Keith Franklin, a JA Fellows Advisor for the Alpha Essentials team.
JA Fellows is available free of charge to participants thanks to the generous support of Barry Wish Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Lorraine Thomas, AT&T, Citrix Systems, William R. Watts Foundation, The Hartford, Broward College, Albert E. and Birdie W. Einstein Fund, Deluxe Corp Foundation, Xerox and Sam’s Club Coral Springs.
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 over 5,800 trained corporate and community volunteers, JA delivered twenty-plus various programs to almost 50,000 students in classrooms throughout Broward and south Palm Beach Counties.
For more information about Junior Achievement of South Florida, please visit www.jasouthflorida.org