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Trenton Students on a Mission for Success in Business Plan Competition

August, 2008  (Trenton, New Jersey) – The Building Our Youth’s Development (B.O.Y.D.) program held the final round of its 2nd Annual Business Plan Contest yesterday at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in Trenton, the culmination of a process that began in June with a group of 12 select 6th-8th grade students. These students who underwent weekly revisions of their six-tier business plans which included mission and vision statements, a target market analysis, a sustainability statement, a promotional plan, and a detailed budget, presented their ideas before a panel of judges which included Byron Hopkins of Allstate Insurance Company; Catherine Milone-Richards, President of JA-NJ; Celeste Hardrick, Education Manager of JA-NJ; and Michael Troutman, Program and Marketing Manager of JA-NJ. Students were ranked on professional greeting, diction, organization, knowledge of the business plan, and overall presentation.

Based on the Junior Achievement’s It’s My Business!TM curriculum which emphasizes entrepreneurship and social studies, the business plan competition challenged the students to create a profitable company that would make a difference in the lives of the people in their local community. The Allstate Foundation was the proud sponsor of this program, which has been traditionally known as an after-school activity, but B.O.Y.D. took the course to the next level.  "It's very exciting to hear their interesting ideas, all of which can be developed into viable businesses," said Natasha Sykes, Co-Director of B.O.Y.D. "Events like this demonstrate what the kids can do beyond the classroom to help them develop many essential skills - from public speaking, researching, and putting together an innovative plan for a new business, said Michael Troutman of Junior Achievement. The winner of the contest will be announced at the B.O.Y.D. Awards Luncheon on Thursday August 14th at 12p at Roman Hall in Trenton and will be eligible a cash prize of $100.

About B.O.Y.D.
Building Our Youth’s Development (B.O.Y.D), operating in the Trenton Public School District is a year-round mentoring program for students in 5th – 8th grades that inspires students to make the most of educational opportunities.  This character education program is designed to motivate and empower students as well as bring families closer together by hosting after-school activities for students and parents. The character education program consists of a sequence of 5-8 week modules covering life skills, banking and finance, college prep, and entrepreneurship/job readiness. Student participation in the program requires a promise of parental involvement and attendance at bi-monthly meetings. Membership includes a dress code that requires students to wear khakis and a buttoned white shirt one day per week. For more information, visit www.boyd-nj.org.     

About The Allstate Foundation

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by The Allstate Corporation and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company.  The Allstate Foundation sponsors community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities”; “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity”; and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America's families achieve their American dream.

About Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement’s (JA) mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA offers workforce readiness programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today JA Worldwide® reaches over 8,300,000 students worldwide in 100 countries.  For more information, visit www.ja.org.  This year, Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JA-NJ), a member of JA Worldwide, will reach more than 30,000 students in the Garden State.   For more information, visit http://nj.ja.org.

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