Junior Achievers Challenged to Resolve Territory’s Waste Problems

From left, Trey Francis, senior at Educational Complex, Leah Chewning, local volunteer and Sanay Hewitt, a senior at Complex, worked on a business plan to reduce plastic waste. (Photo by Carol Buchanan)

Approximately 50 high school students on St. Croix were challenged Thursday to solve one of the territory’s biggest problems – what to do with all the waste generated by residents.

The students, from three of the island’s high schools, were participating in Junior Achievement U.S. Virgin Islands Innovation Camp in the Brass Parrot room at the Buccaneer Resort.

The students from Central, Complex and Good Hope/Country Day high schools were divided into five teams and each team was given a specific problem to solve concerning waste management and recycling.

The Innovative Camp is one of three programs conducted by the 120 volunteers in the territory. At the full-day event, teens were coached by Junior Achievement volunteers and then use laptops to organize and present their results.

Judged to have given the best presentation was the V.I. Eco Waste Team. They tackled the problem of the paper waste stream.

The V.I. Eco Waste team, above with judges, was recognized as having the best presentation. (Submitted photo)

The local Junior Achievement organization, under the umbrellas of Junior Achievement World, has two other programs besides the Innovative Camp. Each program has the goal of teaching youth about economics, the free enterprise system and entrepreneurship.

The best-known program is the Company Plan program, in which students form an imaginary company. The territory team that won first place in that program this year participated in an international competition in the Dominican Republic in November.

Junior Achievement board member Sadie Clendenin traveled with the team and said it was an amazing experience for all. The company the youngsters designed was a t-shirt company with an environmental advocacy mission. Its motto, which it shared with its peers at the competition, was “People Change People.”

Marvin Pickering is a volunteer who, along with being at the camp Thursday, helps in the Economics for Success program, a financial literacy program sponsored by Junior Achievement in schools. He said in that program, “everyone is a winner.”

Kirk Chewning, vice-chair of the territory’s Junior Achievement board, said Thursday’s program was all about “motivating students to think about the issues and solve problems.”

Judging the presentations were Diane Capehart, Bevan Smith, Elizabeth Armstrong and Alicia Barnes.

Trey Francis said his group project focus was “to improve employment we have teamwork and the right mindset to get recycling implemented in the territory.”

The Virgin Islands chapter is chaired by John Engerman.