Students from McGavock Vie for National “JA Company of the Year”

Local group of teen entrepreneurs to join 14 other teams in Washington, D.C., in June

Five Junior Achievement (JA) of Middle Tennessee students have been selected to compete for the title of “JA Company of the Year” at the Junior Achievement National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. The students will spend three days, June 16-18, in the nation’s capital, networking and competing with more than 100 other students from across the United States. Travel was sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Bradley Arant Boult Cummings.

The local students represent McGavock High School and comprise McBeanie & Co., one of only 15 teen teams invited to compete at the event as part of their participation in JA Company Program®. McGavock High School teacher Melinda Brown and community volunteer Jerome Terrell of TVA will accompany the students at the competition.

In JA Company Program, students start and run a real business enterprise under the guidance of a volunteer from the local business community. They devise and market a product or service and sell stock in their company. McBeanie & Co. sold beanie stocking caps to fellow students and teachers. Their product sold out in just two weeks and the students donated nearly $200 of their profits to the Nashville Rescue Mission. McBeanie & Co. President Klara Zenelaku was a Senior at McGavock last year. This was her second year in the JA Company Program and she plans to study entrepreneurship at Belmont University beginning this fall because of her experiences with Junior Achievement. She said, “I have always been interested in business but I did not know a lot about it. I got to experience different jobs and help my team this year. The program showed me that I really want to be a CEO someday and be my own boss.”

As part of the JA Company of the Year competition, teen entrepreneur teams produce a commercial about their company, are interviewed by—and make a presentation to—a judging panel of business leaders, and sell their product or service in a trade fair on Capitol Hill. The trade fair will take place on Tuesday, June 17 in the Hart Senate Office Building. The event is open to the public from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET; free refreshments will be served.

The JA Company of the Year, along with the winners of several other awards, will be named at a gala awards dinner at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center’s Pavilion Room the evening of June 18. The JA Company of the Year competition is co-sponsored by FedEx, NYSE Euronext Foundation, and Microsoft.