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Winners of the 2016 JA National Student Leadership Summit Announced

The National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) is part of Junior Achievement’s annual celebration of the accomplishments of JA Company Program® students, ages 15-19, from across the United States. They develop and market a product or service with the goal of realizing a profit for their shareholders. Reaching nearly 14,000 U.S. students during the 2015-16 school year who created nearly 700 start-ups, during participation, JA Company Program gives teens the skills to start and run their own businesses under the mentorship of a local business volunteer.

This pinnacle event brings together 15 JA student companies to our nation's capital for three days of high-impact JA experiences. The Summit features the JA Company of the Year powered by The Hartford, theFedEx Access Award, the EY Social Innovation Award, and the ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award.

The winners of this year's National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) are:

JA Company of the Year Award

Impress is the 2016 JA Company of the Year, powered by The Hartford

On Wednesday, June 22, in Washington, D.C., Junior Achievement USA® (JA) named the teen entrepreneurs who created the student-run start-up Impress from Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area) as winners of the 2016 JA Company of the Year, powered by The Hartford. The team was selected from among 15 competing student companies representing JA operations across the country. Each member of the team present in Washington, DC received a $4,000 scholarship from The Hartford.

According to its company description: "Impress strives to deliver handmade customizable metal goods to consumers, while enabling them to express themselves and encouraging them to enjoy the journey. Our products can serve as a daily reminder, love note, or motivation. They can remind us to get outside or to keep our heads up. Here at Impress, we believe that one of the most important things to remember is to live life to the fullest."

The second-place team, Blüme, also represents JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Each member of the team present in Washington, DC received a $2,000 scholarship from The Hartford. The third-place team isAlpha Essentials, representing JA of South Florida (Fort Lauderdale area). Each member present at the summit received a $1,000 scholarship from The Hartford.

FedEx Access Award

Rhidian Tech is the winner of the FedEx Access Award

Rhidian Tech, representing JA of the Upper Midwest, was the winner of the FedEx Access Award. The FedEx Access Award is given to the JA student company which best demonstrates their understanding and application of global access, leveraging international trade to create jobs, grow small businesses, expand global development and improve the environment. “At FedEx, we’re passionate about making the connections that improve lives,” said Rose Flenorl, manager of Global Citizenship at FedEx. “We believe global connectivity allows ideas and solutions to surface from anywhere, energizing the marketplace. This is especially important in parts of the world where people desire access to the education, goods, services and jobs that lead to a better life. These young entrepreneurs have demonstrated they understand how their proposed businesses can create those connections, providing access to opportunities around the world. I congratulate Rhidian Tech on their winning business strategy.”

EY Social Innovation Award

Leozarb is the winner of the EY Social Innovation Award

Leozarb, representing JA of the Upper Midwest, won the EY Social Innovation Award by applying entrepreneurial thinking to create a realistic, achievable, and innovative solution (product, service, event, ad, campaign) to a (local, national, or global social concern). The teens also had to describe the lessons they learned from the challenge.

ICE NYSE Foundation Best Financial Performance Award

Impress won the ICE/NYSE Best Financial Performance Award 

Impress from Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania was the recipient of the Intercontinental Exchange/New York Stock Exchange Foundation “Best Financial Performance” Award. This award is presented to the JA student company with the best achievement against the following metrics: Profitability, exceeding Investor Expectations, Employee Earnings, Product Quality, Leadership, and Operational Efficiency. An evaluation was done of Company Reports; five finalists were interviewed by experts in the financial industry.

Social Media Award

Blume, braceLIT & Pixoview won the Social Media Award 

The Social Media Award was presented to the group of three JA Companies who generated the most Tweets during the week’s event. In all, 15 participating teams were assigned into five groups and tasked with Tweeting about JA and this Summit, using assigned hashtags. The representatives of the winning group each received a gift card. The winner of this year’s JA Social Media Award, generating 219 tweets, was team Alba from Blüme, braceLIT, & Pixoview

Jim Sweeny Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Congrats to Hope Kim from JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the Sweeny Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence!

Hope Kim from Eagleville, Pennsylvania. This $1,000 scholarship is named in honor of Jim Sweeny, a JA executive at the local and national levels, who, for 32 years, played a critical and influential role in shaping the future of Junior Achievement. The JA Pioneers, our retiree organization, created this scholarship in his honor. It is awarded to a JA Company Program student in recognition of his or her accomplishments, role in their JA Company, and entrepreneurial potential.

Junior Achievement would like to express our sincere gratitude to The Hartford, EY, FedEx, ICE NYSE Foundation, and Microsoft for their generosity and continued investment in JA students.

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