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 Junior Achievement Titans of Industry Challenge Introduces High School Students to the World of Profit-Making Business

​Running a corporation large or small requires knowledge, discipline and clear thinking, and more than 70 high school students recently showed those traits and more at the third Annual Junior Achievement (JA) Titans of Industry Business Challenge.

The competition, held at the San Diego County Office of Education, placed 10th and 11th grade high school students in the seat of a CEO of a virtual corporation for a day. As CEO, students were required to wrestle with sales, profit margins, and market share in a high-tech, competitive market.

Clairemont High School took first place in the competition, with all three members of the team receiving a computer and a $450 stipend to share. High Tech High Chula Vista came in second, earning a $350 stipend, Patrick Henry High came in third and received a $250 stipend, and San Diego Met High came in fourth, receiving a $150 stipend. The second through fourth place winners also received laptops for each team member, each with a lifetime technical support warranty.

Participating schools were: High Tech High, Chula Vista Charter; Hilltop High, both from the Sweetwater Union High School District; Westview High, Poway Unified;
Hoover, Patrick Henry, San Diego, Clairemont and San Diego Met High Schools, all from San Diego Unified School District.

“Junior Achievement´s Titan competition is extremely important for students because it gives them experience and insight into the decisions businesses make every day,” said Brent D. Tharp, volunteer for Clairemont High and Senior Vice President of GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services - Real Estate. This is Tharp’s second year volunteering with the JA competition. “The competition gives students the opportunity to make strategic choices in a competitive environment with incomplete information, for better or worse, and that´s how it is in the real world.”

Teams of three-to-five students were formed from business classes at their respective schools. Each team competed within their school over a seven-week period and the best teams from nine schools were invited to compete in the JA Titans of Industry competition. Over the course of the seven weeks a volunteer business professional visited the classrooms to help teams prepare.

“I think giving students exposure to decision-making in such an environment greatly enhances their critical thinking skills,” said Tharp.

“A lot of the skills the students use in the competition are used in the classroom,” said Arlene Freeman, Junior Achievement Special Events Manager. “This competition allows students to use real-world applications like decision-making and working collaboratively with others.”

JA is a worldwide organization that strongly believes education in economics and finances are important in preparing students for success in a global economy. For more information about JA, go to www.jasandiego.org.