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Junior Achievement kept alive by bpTT

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
At right: A student from Junior Achievement company Lift’d Quotivations tries his sales pitch at the JA Trade Fair at Woodford Square, Port of Spain. Showing interest are JA Executive Chairman J Errol Lewis, left, Gerard Jackson, Manager, Government and Stakeholder Relations, bpTT and Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Adviser, bpTT.

Junior Achievement (JA) of T&T has been kept alive over the past four decades by its exceptional partnership with energy company BP T&T. 


“It is very simple. There will be no Junior Achievement without bpTT. There will be no trade fair without bpTT,” said Richard Oliver, JA Programme Manager, as he thanked sponsors at the 44th annual JA Trade Fair at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, on April 17.


Some 1,000 students, representing more than 100 secondary schools from across Trinidad, have been engaged over the past year in JA’s company programme which provides them with practical business experience through operation of co-curricular business enterprises.


Woodford Square was turned into a virtual trade centre as the student entrepreneurs offered a wide range of handcrafted products for sale, including printed tee-shirts, cushions, head and wrist bands, earrings, necklaces and other personal items.


In a release, Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Adviser, bpTT, gave JA fraternity the assurance that the company remained committed to its enduring relationship with JA Trinidad and Tobago.


“Junior Achievement and bpTT share a similar vision. We both try to impact the lives of every citizen in this country and we both would like to marry education and enterprise development as two critical elements for the sustainable development of our country,” he said.


Primus challenged the students “to utilise everything you have learnt through this programme to be a positive influence in the lives of your fellow citizens. 


“Think of how you yourselves can now join the ranks of young entrepreneurs who are transforming this country.”


Earlier, attorney-at-law Yelena Helen Hewitt, a former Junior Achiever, provided some tips to the students on how they could start and maintain successful businesses. “You have acquired many skills. You must use them now. You must be innovative and generate your own income,” she urged.


Weena Rajkumar, Form Four student of Rio Claro West Secondary and president of bpTT-sponsored Peculiar Thinkers, said while the project was a challenge, it was also exciting. 


“We got the opportunity to work alongside students from other schools and to learn the fundamentals of starting a business. We intend to sell all our products today,” said a confident Rajkumar. 


Mayaro-based Peculiar Thinkers comprised students from Rio Claro West, Mayaro Secondary and Guayaguayare High School. 


Nine of the 33 companies selling their products at the trade fair were sponsored and counseled by bpTT.


JA Trinidad and Tobago also thanked its other sponsors for their support, First Citizens Bank, Trinidad Cement Limited, National Petroleum, National Lotteries Control Board, CIBC, as well as the bpTT Mayaro Resource Centre, Presentation College, Chaguanas, and Chaguanas North Secondary.


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