All 78 participants of the Company Program were recently recognized at Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island's 32nd annual "Futures Unlimited Banquet."
During the 15-week program, teams selected officers and company names, developed product ideas and then produced, marketed and sold their products. In addition to distributing profits to the students as wages, commission and dividends, a variety of awards are presented to individual students and company teams.
The Outstanding Sales Presentation Awards, based on appearance, poise, content and delivery before a panel of judges, went to Kala Daily, Skyler Agrigado and Jennifer Taniguchi. Each won a $100 savings bond.
Eight students — Kendra Fujioka, Kathy Oyadomari, Zachary Matthews, Amanda Cruz, Titus Matthews, Skyler Agrigado, Jennifer Taniguchi and Cheylee Octavio — had personal sales over $1,000. Octavio earned the distinction of Outstanding Sales Person and earned a $150 savings bond for reaching $4,182 in sales.
For its display, personal appearance and salesmanship, the JA Company "Makia," sponsored by HPM Building Supply, received the Trade Fair Company award.
The Green Company Award, given for incorporating sustainability concepts, went to "N.I.N.J.A.S.," sponsored by Big Island Toyota.
JA Companies were also taught the importance of giving back to their community. This year's service projects included visiting elderly and veterans homes, making cards for overseas troops, packing Operation Christmas care boxes, teaching the JA after school curriculum at the Boys and Girls Club, and selling wristbands to raise funds for charity.
"Lifesavers," the company sponsored by Bank of Hawaii, had 100 percent participation from its employees earning it the Community Service Company Award.
"Lifesavers" also took the honor of Highest Company Sales, with $13,000 in total income.
In addition, "Lifesavers" won the highly coveted Outstanding Company of the Year award, which is based on nine categories including record keeping, attendance, profitability, acquired knowledge, community service and company reports.
Like the real word, Junior Achievement assesses taxes on all JA-Company earnings. However, in JA, all taxes paid go back to the students as prizes and scholarships.
For 26 years, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island has provided scholarships to high school seniors based on applicant's academic achievement, extra-curricular involvement, community service and leadership skills.
This year the seniors receiving scholarships were: Norman Mogote of Keaau High ($500), Kanani Jacunski of St. Joseph High ($500), Brittany Rutledge of Waiakea High ($500), Kendra Fujioka of Hilo High ($750) and Kathy Oyadomari of Hilo High ($1,500).
Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island's High School Company Program is the only JA program of its kind in the State.
Students interested in participating in the program, and adults interested in becoming volunteers, should contact Susan Labrenz, district manager, at JA-Susan@hawaii.rr.com.