Junior Achievement students and
young entrepreneurs showed off their hand-made products to Rotary Central
members on Tuesday night at the Grand Old House.
“The kids are great. They’re
achievers. They’re all smart and intelligent,” said Jay Ehrhart, a member of
the board of directors for Junior Achievement and a former participant. “I
wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for JA. I wouldn’t be who I am.”
One of the Junior Achievement
groups, Style, made Valentine’s Day picture frames out of popsicle sticks.
Another group, Creative Impressions, made Cayman Piks – toothpicks made with seashells
collected on Cayman’s shores meant to be used on hors d’oeuvres platters or as
Island Bling made hand-crafted
jewellery, while Collage made customised buttons.
The spirit of small business
ownership is shown every time one of the young Junior Achievers pitches their
product, advisers say.
“We see the kids that are kind of
reserved and hold back and they’ll become your top salesperson,” said Sharon
Strom, one of the adviser’s who works with Junior Achievement.
One of the companies, EcoFreex,
decided on green products for their business.
They sell bookmarks made of
recycled paper and have a plant seed embedded for planting after use.
All-purpose cleaners and room sprays are also among their items.
This innovation, organisers said,
is what appealed to Rotary Central and prompted them to invite the students to
the Grand Old House.
“I thought it would be kind of
neat, because I enjoy working with young people, to support them by being there
to help direct the affairs of the organisation,” said Martin Ruben, a Rotary
member who also on the Junior Achievement board.
“JA gave me an entrepreneurial
spirit for my life. It taught me a lot of things about how do you plan, how do
you implement your plan, and how do you actually determine how you achieve that
plan,” he said. “It’s really all about the principles of business and using
them in a very sensible way.”
Wil Pineau, president of Rotary
“This teaches our
young Caymanians and residents how to start a business, how to run a company,
marketing, finance, management. They have to do it themselves, so that makes it
special,” he said. “This is absolutely the future of our country.”