Each Junior Achievement program is specially designed to empower students to build their future and recognize their potential.
Through hands-on experiences and mentorship from top business executives, many students are inspired to pursue various careers in entrepreneurship, finance, and other industries that spark their intellectual curiosity. One program in particular, the JA New York Business Plan Competition (BPC), is proven to give high school students the exposure and confidence to dig into their entrepreneurial spirit and ultimately cultivate the transferable skills all young people in the workforce need.
Sisi Peng, JA New York alumna and Brooklyn Technical High School graduate, credits many of her academic and career choices to her participation in BPC during her junior and senior years of high school. Sisi and her teammates were proud to pitch their business ideas at NASDAQ Times Square both years as finalists in the competition. Taking initiative to own her potential, she would eventually overcome a personal challenge by speaking publicly in front of a large audience and distinguished judges while defending her team’s business plans. The highly competitive nature of BPC challenged Sisi and her team to think outside the box and fully understand each component necessary to start and run a successful business. They had to think strategically, both short-term and long-term. Throughout the entire process, Sisi improved her leadership and public speaking skills and her ability to work in a productive team environment – all of which are essential skills in college and beyond.
Sisi’s ambition followed her as she embarked on her college journey at Cornell University. Although she entered the Ithaca Green expecting to study Biology and Society, Sisi later transferred to their Communications program. This change was in part due to her entrepreneurial mindset sparked by her participation with JA New York. Now a Cornell alumna, Sisi works for inVentiv Health PR Group, employing all the skills she learned during her time with Junior Achievement of New York.
Thanks to Sisi’s commitment to make the most of her own education by participating in programs like the Business Plan Competition, she developed the confidence and creativity to carry her from the start of her career into wherever her future experiences take her in the working world. Lessons learned from the Business Plan Competition have empowered her to make smart academic and personal economic choices. For many students like Sisi, Junior Achievement programs bridge the gap between what is taught in the classroom and what is expected of young people entering the workforce and gives them the opportunity to cultivate the skills they need to become confident and savvy leaders in a global economy.