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Collegeville-area teens compete against 14 other student-run companies to place in top 3

On Wednesday, June 19, in Washington, D.C., the teen entrepreneurs of Denim2Denim and Southeastern Pennsylvania placed in the top 3 among 15 JA student companies competing to win the JA Company of the Year at Junior Achievement’s (JA) 2019 National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS).

The Collegeville teens representing their student company in Washington D.C. were awarded a scholarship. The scholarships provided to the five students represent each of the top three finishing teams. The team members of the third-place team were awarded a $500 (3rd place scholarship by the Achievement Foundation.

“We are incredibly proud of Denim2Denim’s accomplishments this year, but win or lose, the experience of preparing for and competing at the National Student Leadership Summit is something that has benefitted our students tremendously. Over the course of the year, we watched each of these students grow in their confidence, presentation skills, and business acumen, as well as grow together as a team and form friendships with each other and the other students they met from across the country. They left the summit inspired and ready to make big changes in their own community and in the world, and I can’t wait to see what problem they choose to focus on solving next year,” said a volunteer Associate Director, Curriculum Management for Pfizer, host company for Denim2Denim.

With a goal of transforming unwanted clothing into functional products, Denim2Denim addressed the problem of textile waste by developing three styles of handmade, one-of-a-kind bags using donated jeans: Set2Go, an all-purpose zipper bag; Go2, a cross-body bag; and Top2Bottom, a tote bag. Their solution gives purpose to unworn clothing filling the closets of their target market.

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 15-18. Reaching more than 10,000 U.S. students during the 2018-19 school year creating nearly 500 start-ups, JA Company Program gives teens the skills to start and run their own businesses under the mentorship of a local business volunteer.

“I’m proud that Denim2Denim has been recognized as JA Company of the Year. I have watched these students throughout the year as they started and grew their business. They truly demonstrate how fostering entrepreneurship can help spur economic growth through innovation and job creation,” said Paul Kappel Jr..

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.

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