Education Matters: Students pitch products at entrepreneurship competition

Education

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– Portable chargers, hats, shirts, even stickers, high school students are letting their creative juices flow.

“It’s really cool to be able to see how people come together and create something good for the good of our community,” says Jeana Simmons, Sylvan Hills High Sophomore.

Students like Jeana Simmons are learning what it takes to create a product and launch their own business. Four high schools went head to head at Junior Achievement’s Pitch Competition at the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock, selling their product to judges. Jeana and her team at Sylvan Hills High School are selling Bickers. They’re bear stickers you can display on your car, windows and yeti cups.

“You can put them on laptops and like your school binders. You can put them on pretty much everything and it won’t leave any residue on there,” she says.

Some of their selling points? Bickers are waterproof, fade resistant, and will only cost you $5 dollars. Through a business and marketing course, students are gaining leadership skills and learning how to market their product while being confident in what they’re selling.

“I think it’s super important especially for engagement, real world application. I mean that’s what we try to do in the classroom is to try to give the students every opportunity that they made need to be successful later in life,” says Michelle Camp, Business & Marketing Teacher.

Junior Achievement Arkansas is impressed year after year, with how innovative these students are and the knowledge they’re bringing to this annual competition.

“When they walk away from this, they’re equipt to go out into the real world and manage their money,” says Tonya Villines, Junior Achievement Arkansas President.

An experience that Jeana says will pay off after high school.

“When I grow up I want to have my own business so I really want to take this class because I was like hey if that’s something I want to do, I feel like I should get a good start on it,” says Jeana.

Junior Achievement hopes to expand this program and bring it to other schools. They need more businesses and donors to make it happen. If you’re interested, you can visit: https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-arkansas/home

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