Three Connecticut high school students who’ve just graduated and are looking ahead to college this fall have earned scholarships from Junior Achievement of Southwest New England in recognition of their dedication, participation and leadership in local JA education programs.
The 2020 recipients of $1,000 scholarships are Chereece Burrell of Global Communications Academy in Hartford, Katherine Crouse of Southington High School, and Kenya Mouning of Granby Memorial High School.
Junior Achievement is a global leader in providing cutting-edge, hands-on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness education, bringing students together with community volunteers who provide experiential learning and inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
Mouning, who received the JA of Southwest New England Scholarship, participated in the JA Entrepreneurial Academy with The Hartford in 2019. With guidance from volunteer mentors, she and her student colleagues created the student company, Simplex, winning the first round of the FedEx Junior Business Challenge, a local business competition where Mouning and her teammates presented their business idea, competing against three other JA student-led companies. Mouning, who successfully led the Marketing Department, and three other students, then went on to represent JA and Simplex in Atlanta at the FedEx Junior Business Challenge Finals.
With her future in mind and an interest in business and entrepreneurship, Burrell, who received the inaugural Elaine Dwyer Scholarship, was an active JA student throughout her high school years. She participated in numerous JA programs, including Career Connections for Young Women and three Entrepreneurial Academies, where she consistently demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Crouse, who earned the Karl Flemke Memorial Scholarship, participated in the JA High School Heroes program for four years, working with students at Strong Elementary School in Southington. Through her involvement, she taught JA curriculum to local students and discovered her love of being in the classroom.
“Each of these students has truly earned their scholarship, demonstrating extraordinary dedication and commitment to the JA programs they participated in, collaborating with their student colleagues and learning from the business professionals they worked with,” said Jeremy Race, CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest New England. “We couldn’t be more proud of what they have accomplished, and wish them continued success as they pursue a college education. We’re pleased that JA has helped them prepare for their future, and the opportunities ahead.”
In their applications for the annual JA Scholarships, students describe their level of JA participation, school activities and community engagement, and write an essay on the topic How JA Has Prepared You for Future Success, accompanied by a letter of recommendation from an employer, guidance counselor, clergy, teacher or school administrator, coach, or community organization manager.
“The Junior Achievement organization has made a clear impact on my future by allowing me to strengthen my leadership skills and offering career experience early on,” wrote Katherine Crouse. “I will forever value the lessons I have learned through this organization.”
“I will apply the knowledge and skills learned through the Junior Achievement Entrepreneurial Academy to inform my educational journey as I learn the necessary skills to teach my students excellently as well as learn how to run a successful and impactful business,” Kenya Mouning wrote in her essay. “This education will help me to properly establish my school and to start a movement that demonstrates the incredible power that education combined with love can have on a life.”
Chereece Burrell wrote, “This program taught me several critical skills when it comes to applying for, and keeping a job…I have not only used these learned behaviors with potential employers, but also when simply meeting new people, because of JA I have made more memorable and engaging interactions.”
The specific criteria for the JA Student Scholarships:
Providing children from kindergarten through 12th grade with positive adult role models who illustrate ways to build self-confidence and develop financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills, is a hallmark of Junior Achievement. JA volunteers come from all walks of life and use their personal experiences to make the JA curricula of more than a dozen programs practical and realistic, helping to empower students to own their economic success.
In 2019, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England was awarded one of Junior Achievement USA’s highest honors for the fourth consecutive year: the Five Star Award, in recognition of its growth in student impact and superior fiscal performance. During the 2018-19 school year in Connecticut, with the help of more than 3,300 volunteers - business professionals, parents, retirees, and college students - JA of Southwest New England taught more than 47,000 Connecticut students about business, jobs, and the importance of education for success.