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Rusea’s sparkle at international trade fair

Published:Tuesday | December 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Alphie Mullings-Aiken (left), president of Junior Achievement Jamaica; Beth Graham (third left), customer engagement and communications specialist of Delta, and Leo Martellotto (right), president of Junior Achievement Americas, celebrate with members of the Rusea's High School student company, Teen La'bor Enterprise, after they finished second at the seventh annual Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year Competition on Saturday evening at the Hilton Rose Hall in Montego Bay. Members of the Rusea's team are Annakay Harvey (second left), staff adviser, and students, Sheneecia Salmon (centre), Akena Davis (third right) and Omar Eubanks (second right).

After two days of showcasing their entrepreneurial talent, the Teen La'bor Enterprise student of Rusea's High school in Hanover, walked away with a second-place finish at the seventh annual Junior Achievement Americas Company of the Year (COY) Trade Fair Competition, which had its award ceremony last Saturday night at Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay.

The Rusea's team was one of two student groups representing Jamaica in the competition, which featured 20 student companies from 15 countries in the Caribbean region and Americas. The annual competition is designed to serves as a celebration of excellence among youth entrepreneurs.

The Teen La'bor Enterprise's group, which consisted Omar Eubanks, Shenecia Salmon, Akena Davis, and teacher Anna-Kay Harvey, entered the competition with a line of breadfruit-based products, which were on display at the initial trade fair, which took place at Fairview Shopping Centre in Montego Bay, on Friday, December 4.

Before Saturday night's award ceremony, Hilton Rose Hall also hosted the judging of the various entries. It was from that judging Teen La'bor Enterprise emerged second.

The Rusea's students emerged second best only to Ecuador's Business Imagin Art, which produced sketchbooks designed to inspire creativity and critical thinking in users.

Brazil's Neurgames team took third place with its "learning pillow" product, which is designed for the development of motor skills in the elderly and children with disabilities.

Speaking to Teen La'bor Enterprise's performance after the awards ceremony, Eubanks attributed the group's success to hard work put into its preparation for the competition.

"This award is incredible," Eubanks said, in revelling in the group's second-place presentation. "We have worked very hard and we would like to thank Junior Achievement for making this possible."

President of Junior Achievement Americas, Leo Martellotto, praised the Jamaican team for its innovativeness in the selection of its product.

"They did a great job at identifying their market, which was both accessible and large," said Martellotto.

"The product is solving an important problem for today's customer and has great potential for growth in their own country and internationally."