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Local high school students showcase entrepreneurship at Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida CEO Academy

Local high school students recently came together to learn the ins and outs of running a business at CEO Academy, a model week-long business school summer camp held for rising high school juniors and seniors, presented by Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida in partnership with the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

CEO Academy, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida’s flagship program, teaches students the basics of starting and operating a business, preparing them for success in the global economy. The academy offers intense interaction with experienced local business leaders, entrepreneurs and FGCU professors, as well as high-energy team building activities and opportunities to learn the value of free enterprise, business and economics.

Throughout the week, students work in project teams to develop a unique business concept and comprehensive business plan. At the conclusion of CEO Academy on June 23, four groups of entrepreneurial teens presented business plans for these concepts to a panel of judges. This year’s judging panel consisted of David Diamond, Gail Markham, and Phil McCabe, three past Junior Achievement Laureates recognized for their entrepreneurship, contributions to the community and ethical approach to business.

The winning team presented a model business plan for their company, Patient Priority, a medical device manufacturer that provides hospital patients with a sense of control, prioritizing their needs based on their condition. The team provided a solution to the issue of inefficiently prioritizing patient care by creating a system that puts the patients in control of their own care, prioritizing medical needs over basic comfort needs. The team consisted of high school students Gunnar Fandrich of Gulf Coast High School, Bianca Finazzo of Barron Collier High School, Morgan McDermott of Florida SouthWestern Collegiate High School, Anna Marie Parisi of Barron Collier High School and Julia Smith of Robinson High School. Each member of the winning team was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to be used at the college of their choice

About Junior Achievement:

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.8 million students per year in more than 100 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations over 100 other countries worldwide. Locally, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partnered with more than 150 classroom business volunteers during the 2015-2016 school year to provide more than 8,700 students with Junior Achievement programs in more than 360 classes throughout Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. For more information on Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida visit www.JASWFL.org, call 239-225-2590 or email info@jaswfl.org.

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