St. John Teens to Face Business Challenge at Junior Achievement Camp

Anneta Heyliger and Alice Krall present a workshop to students at Gifft Hill School last May. (Photo submitted by Merle Morton)

St. John teens will meet for a full day of team building, problem solving, and idea-pitching on Saturday at the island’s first Innovation Camp sponsored by Junior Achievement, Scotiabank and community partners.

Nearly 20 teens selected by their school counselors will meet at Sea Shore Allure, a villa near Cruz Bay, to develop solutions to a specific problem within the realm of the hospitality industry, according to Alice Krall, a board member of Junior Achievement who is serving as the organization’s interim director.  “We’ll be at the right venue for such a challenge,” she said.

The camp is being facilitated by Dior Parsons, a St. John millennial who is collaborating with Carissa Paris to form Society 340, a non-profit organization. Their purpose is to mentor young adults and assist them with networking as they enter college and navigate the world of work. “I was planning a kickoff event, and it happened to fall on the same day as the Junior Achievement event, so I reached out to Alice,” said Parsons.

At the full-day event, teens will be coached by Junior Achievement volunteers as they form teams to find a solution to the problem and then use laptops to organize and present their results. Delrise Varlack, general manager of Sea Shore Allure and Varlack Ventures, will be creating the challenge.

The winning team will have an opportunity to refine their plan and compete against other teams within the Caribbean in a regional competition sponsored by Scotia Bank. Last year the winning team traveled to México, visited the Scotiabank office located in México City, and participated in the International Entrepreneurs Forum in Morelos, Mexico.

Dior Parsons thanked Delrise Varlack and Delbert Parsons for providing the venue for the event and also the St. John Community Foundation, where she works as a program director.

Other sponsors include Love City Strong, Lime Inn, Starfish Market, North Shore Deli, Love City Communications Network, Alliance Point Charters LLC, CTC Charters & Tubes, Paris Blueprint Events, Tropical Rave Event Rentals, the Tap Room, and 1864.