• MHS Student Ryan Walchonski Among 2nd Place Winners in the 2016 Junior Achievement Company of the Year Competition

    Junior Achievement USA® (JA) named local teen entrepreneur Ryan Walchonski of Methacton High School among the second place winners of the 2016 JA Company of the Year Competition, powered by The Hartford. The Hartford provided scholarships to the five students representing each of the top three finishing teams. Each member of the second place will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

    Led by Junior Ryan Walchonski, Team "Blume" participated in the annual JA Company of the Year Competition along with volunteers from IKEA. "JA has been an amazing experience learning and practicing business skills that will guide us throughout our future and the connections we made will last a lifetime," Ryan said.  

    The annual JA Company of the Year Competition is a contest of business skills, ingenuity and innovation that focuses on the accomplishments of U.S. JA Company Program students, ages 15-19. Reaching more than 14,000 U.S. students during the 2015-16 school year who created 700 start-ups, JA Company Program gives teens the skills to start and run their own businesses under the mentorship of a local business volunteer.

    With the support of The Hartford, Junior Achievement released a re-imagined JA Company Program, which incorporates a blended learning approach into the students' entrepreneurial experience. JA Company Program includes 13 modular experiences as part of a blended-learning approach that offers groups of students the opportunity to apply key concepts involved in launching a business while learning the basics of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business success.

    The 13 sessions include interactive content, including vodcasts led by subject matter experts that explore concepts such as brainstorming a product or service. Lessons also discuss the importance of conducting market research to refine the product or service to meet consumers’ evolving needs.

    Diane Cantello, The Hartford’s vice president of Corporate Sustainability, said, “We continue to be impressed by the young people who participate in Junior Achievement’s programs and delighted to share with JA a desire to see the next generation of leaders emerge and prevail.  The JA Company Program powered by The Hartford inspires the entrepreneurs of tomorrow who, through their creativity and skills, will contribute to the safe, strong and successful communities The Hartford is dedicated to building.”

    The student companies competing at the JA NSLS were assessed on their financial performance, individual team members’ personal and professional development, on a self-produced commercial about their product or service, on their team’s live presentation to a panel of business leaders, and on their company’s performance at an Entrepreneurship Expo on Capitol Hill attended by Members of Congress. 

    About Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania

    Junior Achievement, founded in 1919 by Horace Moses, is the world's largest organization dedicated to empowering students to own their economic success by giving them the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to dream big and reach their full potential. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Since 1951, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Pennsylvania has over 1,500 volunteers, who collectively reach 26,000 students in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties with quality education programs.  In addition, 118 individual area operations reach more than four million students in the United States. For more information, visit http://japhiladelphia.org