During the Junior Achievement Trade Fair this week, students from East Hawaii high schools are anxious to test their sales skills and show off the products they designed and manufactured.
This year’s annual two-day event is slated for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Black Friday and Saturday in the Old Navy wing of Price Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
The 77 students from Hilo, Waiakea, Keaau, Kamehameha and St. Joseph high schools are organized into four companies, each sponsored by a local business and advised by members of Hilo’s business community.
United Youth is the JA company sponsored by HFS Federal Credit Union. They prepared locally-sourced potted succulents that include a watering kit, and a metal cuff bracelet featuring a natural quartz pendant. The company’s vice president of public relations, Daniel Briski, said, “Our goal is to create quality products for our customers at competitive prices.”
JA Company, Hanauna Hou, sponsored by Na Leo TV, also developed two products for the trade fair: gold single-pearl necklaces and gold pearl-and-heart charm bangles.
“Both our necklaces and our bangles have four different colored pearls to choose from, each with a corresponding meaning,” said Sabina Boo-Rivera, president of Hanauna Hou.
Chosen 2 Achieve, or C2A, is the name of the HPM Building Supply-sponsored team. C2A’s members screen-printed kitchen towels and sewed scrunchies.
“Scrunchies have recently made a real comeback, so they’ll make a great holiday gift for all of the women on your list who have long hair,” said Emilia Wagner-Prekaski, C2A’s VP of production.
Lastly, Big Island Toyota’s sponsored company, Maika‘i Productions, will showcase handmade cork coasters with local designs, and trendy shoelace bracelets.
Kekoa Gomes, Hilo High senior and Maika‘i’s president, describes their company’s mission is “to learn valuable skills and gain firsthand knowledge in business.”
Alan Shiraishi, JA of Hawaii Island’s new district manager, concurs.
“I’m excited for the students to experience what it takes to be successful in running a business. By facing real workplace challenges, their self-confidence grows and they develop excellent relationship-building skills,” Shiraishi said.
In addition to the high school company program conducted each fall, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island teaches business and economics to nearly 4,000 East Hawaii students in grades K-12 each year through hundreds of volunteers.
For more information about JA programs on the Big Island, contact Shiraishi at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the trade fair this weekend at Price Kuhio Plaza.