Junior Achievement impacts over 10.6 million students in 403,000 classrooms, worldwide. With the help of over 382,000 volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
JA Trinidad and Tobago (JATT) is a non-profit organisation developed in 1970 to prepare and inspire young people to succeed in a global economy. It is the first Member Nation of JA Worldwide to begin operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Holy Name Convent takes part in the Junior Achievement Company Program. This is an after school program which targets Form Four students to help prepare them for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs which make their communities more robust and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action and learn the value of contributing to their communities.
The Junior Achievement Company Program also helps young people appreciate and better understand the role of business in the economy, by allowing students with the support and guidance of a business volunteer, to organize and operate an actual business enterprise. All decisions concerning this business, from the name to it’s products are made by the students.
The students are placed into groups consisting of 18-25 persons throughout Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Trincity, Chaguanas and Mayaro.
The duration of the program is 21 weeks. The business volunteer/advisor plays an active role in conducting the first 7 meetings. During this period the students will accomplish the following tasks:
- Elect an executive management team
- Establish company by-laws
- Identify a target market
- Create a market survey
- Conduct market research
- Select a product
- Select a company name, mission statement and values
- Create a business plan for each department
The students have an opportunity to elect a board of directors for their business which consists of, the President, Deputy President, and Vice Presidents of Finance, Marketing, Production and Human Resource. From meeting 8 onwards, the company’s executive management team assumes leadership responsibilities. Training is provided to members of the executive management team and students will be required to form partnerships with suppliers of their raw materials and develop sales contracts with various clients to sell their products or services.
Each student is required to adequately staff the company by serving as responsible management team members or employees. While a selected few (the executive team) manage the company, each student is assigned a specific job duty/responsibility and has the opportunity to actively participate in its operation. The students work together to achieve their production aims, where they would sell their innovative products at ‘Open House,’ a sale at their respective company locations, and ‘Trade Fair,’ where all forty plus JA companies compete to sell their products to the public.
At the end of the program, students are then required to liquidate their companies, pay salaries and wages to their workers and publish an Annual Report. Each successful JA Company Program ends with The Future Unlimited Banquet that is usually hosted at Hilton Hotel. Students have the opportunity to dress up for an evening of prize giving, dinner and dance to commemorate the top and most outstanding JA Companies and their leaders.