Hundreds of secondary school students from across TT enthusiastically embraced the annual flagship initiative of Junior Achievement (JA) of Trinidad and Tobago – the 2018 JA Company Programme – when the organisation held an orientation workshop at the UWI-SPEC auditorium earlier this month.
The prospective Junior Achievers, accompanied by their parents, were given insights into the format and operations of the five-month long business education programme, which introduces them to the inner workings of business enterprise. Using a hands-on approach, students start and manage their own businesses, from capitalisation to liquidation.
On hand to offer advice and guidelines for the 2018 edition were JA officials, chairman Anthony Pierre, executive director J. Errol Lewis, Board members Nigel Scott and Dawn Richards, as well as JA administrative staff.
“I am really excited to get involved in the JA Company programme because it will give me an early firsthand introduction to the world of business. At this stage of my life, my career goal is to be an entrepreneur,” said Aiden Warrick, Form Four student of Presentation College, San Fernando. His mother, Kimba Warrick, fully endorsed her son’s decision to be part of the JA experience. “This move will boost his self-confidence and assist greatly in his overall development as a young adult. He will be able to create bonds with his peers from other schools and gain important insights into starting and managing a business since he seems bent on that career pathway,” she said.
While the students attending the workshop were given guidelines on the process for signing up for the programme, JA’s J. Errol Lewis advised that other students who are interested can still register to be part of the experience.
“We encourage those students who are not here today and want to join the JA family that you can still do so,” Lewis noted.
Dr. Auliana Poon, managing director, Tourism Intelligence International delivered the feature address and focussed on the theme, Black is Beautiful. She urged the aspiring entrepreneurs to use technology to generate value and wealth. “Technology is the single most important factor of competitiveness for businesses worldwide. When you think about producing, don’t only think about things you can see or feel. Think about services; think about the social industry,” she said.
The Junior Achievement Company Programme is conducted after school hours and complements the academic syllabus, reinforcing classroom-based activities. Students form their own companies and produce a variety of products which are sold at the JA Annual Trade Fair, which is held at Woodford Square, Port of Spain. The programme climaxes with the Future Unlimited Banquet and Graduation when the winner of the Company of the Year Award is announced.