CAROLINE PARADIS, right, president of Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts, presents the awards for first place last month in the Junior Achievement Titan Challenge competition to a team of Old Rochester Regional High School students, from left, Zach Bowen, Kiernan Besse and Jeremy Bare. The team's business mentor was William Beauchene, left, of BankFive.
NEW BEDFORD – The first Junior Achievement Titan Challenge in financial literacy awarded scholarships to top winners at the end of March.
Forty-eight student teams from 13 high schools in southeastern Massachusetts took part in the challenge at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, competing for scholarships of $1,000, $750 and $500 by playing games that challenged their ability to develop business budgets and interpret financial reports.
Junior Achievement is dedicated to preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Relying on a network of volunteers, the organization provides in-school and after-school programs for students through high school, focusing on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
“By all accounts, our inaugural Titan Challenge event was a success,” said Caroline Paradis, president of Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts.
“From students to educators to volunteer business mentors, everyone who attended expressed a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement,” she said. “What's more, students learned valuable business lessons; some of them are already talking about preparing for next year's competition."
First place went to Old Rochester Regional High School; second place: Old Colony Regional Vocational High School; and third place: Coyle & Cassidy High School. Each team member received scholarships to the post-secondary school they plan to attend.
Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts obtained the support of several companies and organizations, which helped ensure that students received a “reality-based” business experience during the competition. Major sponsors included Bristol County Savings Bank, Mansfield Bank, BankFive and Webster Bank.
“The bank was thrilled to collaborate with Junior Achievement and help support an educational experience that provided real-world learning for all the participating students and schools,” said Patrick J. Murray, Jr., president and CEO of Bristol County Savings Bank. ”The students were very engaged right from the beginning of the day and the electricity in the room continued to build until each of the three rounds of competition came to a conclusion.”
Winners were: first place, Jeremy Bare, Kiernan Besse and Zach Bowen, business mentor William Beauchene of BankFive and school coordinator Erich Carroll; second place, Jason Bechtold, Mack Chabot and Chad Underhill, business mentor Amie Vieira of BayCoast Bank and school coordinator Ryan Robidoux; and third place, Joseph Freitas, Ethan Mafouz and Ashley Mason, business mentor Rick Clark of Bristol County Savings Bank and school coordinator Mary Haynes.