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Pictou County teens establish business, support mental health

Members of Indie-Pendant held a production night on Thursday to make sea glass necklaces they’re selling as part of their Junior Achievement program. Shown, from left, are Karmen MacLean, vice president of information technology; Landon Guthro, vice president of health and safety; Jade VanVeen, vice president of marketing and sales; Stefin Rudolph, vice president of human resources; and Kaiyn Pye, vice president of production. Missing from the photo are president Abby MacKenzie and vice president of finance Michaela Faucitelli.
Members of Indie-Pendant held a production night on Thursday to make sea glass necklaces they’re selling as part of their Junior Achievement program. Shown, from left, are Karmen MacLean, vice president of information technology; Landon Guthro, vice president of health and safety; Jade VanVeen, vice president of marketing and sales; Stefin Rudolph, vice president of human resources; and Kaiyn Pye, vice president of production. Missing from the photo are president Abby MacKenzie and vice president of finance Michaela Faucitelli.

STELLARTON, N.S. - A group of local teens are learning about business while supporting mental health.

The seven high school students, who attend North Nova Education Centre and Northumberland Regional High School, are members of Junior Achievement and are selling handmade sea glass necklaces, with a portion of each sale going to Pictou County mental health programs.

Jade VanVeen, who’s in charge of marketing and sales for the group’s company – Indie-Pendant – attended the recent Headstrong Summit, where she learned about mental health issues in Pictou County.

“We figured we could at least help, especially since the (short-term stay) facility at the (Aberdeen) hospital got shut down not that long ago.”

Adviser Robyn Sutherland said the group realized mental health is a huge issue in the community, and wanted to help through raising awareness and making a donation. Each necklace made by the group members is packaged with information about mental health.

“Sea glass represents something that’s been through a lot, but turns into something beautiful,” said Karmen MacLean, explaining why they chose this product to sell.

Junior Achievement provides youth with hands-on opportunities to learn financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness skills with a mission to inspire students and prepare them to succeed in a global economy.   

“JA gives the opportunity to promote financial literacy and gives the basics of starting a business without all of the risks involved of starting one on their own,” said Sutherland.

Company member Stefin Rudolph joined JA because he plans to run his own business someday, while VanVeen said she became a member for the experience, and because participation also counts toward a school credit. Each student has a role they had to apply for, and she said she’s gaining a valuable work ethic.

Indie-Pendant is part of the 18-week Company Program, one of several programs offered by JA Nova Scotia.

At the end of the program, half the profits go back to JA Nova Scotia, and the rest is divided between the students and shareholders.

Along with other JA groups in the province, Indie-Pendant attended the Company Program trade show this past weekend in Halifax to sell their wares.

Indie-Pendant members also recently attended a JA fair for the Northeast Region in Truro, where they won the People’s Choice award, along with taking second place in Pitch It!

Barkhouse explains that Pitch It! operates like the CBC TV show Dragon’s Den, where the students propose their business idea to a panel of three judges.

“They talked about their company, what they’ve done and the social awareness campaign,” said Sutherland.

“I was so impressed at Pitch It! I thought they did an unbelievable job,” said adviser Bradley Barkhouse. “The judges drilled them with questions and they responded very well.”

The seven high school students, who attend North Nova Education Centre and Northumberland Regional High School, are members of Junior Achievement and are selling handmade sea glass necklaces, with a portion of each sale going to Pictou County mental health programs.

Jade VanVeen, who’s in charge of marketing and sales for the group’s company – Indie-Pendant – attended the recent Headstrong Summit, where she learned about mental health issues in Pictou County.

“We figured we could at least help, especially since the (short-term stay) facility at the (Aberdeen) hospital got shut down not that long ago.”

Adviser Robyn Sutherland said the group realized mental health is a huge issue in the community, and wanted to help through raising awareness and making a donation. Each necklace made by the group members is packaged with information about mental health.

“Sea glass represents something that’s been through a lot, but turns into something beautiful,” said Karmen MacLean, explaining why they chose this product to sell.

Junior Achievement provides youth with hands-on opportunities to learn financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness skills with a mission to inspire students and prepare them to succeed in a global economy.   

“JA gives the opportunity to promote financial literacy and gives the basics of starting a business without all of the risks involved of starting one on their own,” said Sutherland.

Company member Stefin Rudolph joined JA because he plans to run his own business someday, while VanVeen said she became a member for the experience, and because participation also counts toward a school credit. Each student has a role they had to apply for, and she said she’s gaining a valuable work ethic.

Indie-Pendant is part of the 18-week Company Program, one of several programs offered by JA Nova Scotia.

At the end of the program, half the profits go back to JA Nova Scotia, and the rest is divided between the students and shareholders.

Along with other JA groups in the province, Indie-Pendant attended the Company Program trade show this past weekend in Halifax to sell their wares.

Indie-Pendant members also recently attended a JA fair for the Northeast Region in Truro, where they won the People’s Choice award, along with taking second place in Pitch It!

Barkhouse explains that Pitch It! operates like the CBC TV show Dragon’s Den, where the students propose their business idea to a panel of three judges.

“They talked about their company, what they’ve done and the social awareness campaign,” said Sutherland.

“I was so impressed at Pitch It! I thought they did an unbelievable job,” said adviser Bradley Barkhouse. “The judges drilled them with questions and they responded very well.”

JA history

 

JA was founded in 1919 by Horace A. Moses, Chairman of Strathmore Paper, in Springfield, Mass.

JA is the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about business.

With more than 120 charters worldwide, JA inspires students to succeed in a global economy and reach their highest potential.

Ralph Baker, former president of the Standard Oil Company, brought JA to Canada in 1955, recruiting Vancouver’s business community to provide programs for 250 students.

JA Canada was established in 1967.

To date, 4.4 million Canadian youth have participated in JA’s financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship programs.

JA Nova Scotia has been operating since 1969.

More than 13,000 Nova Scotia students participated in Junior Achievement programs during the 2015-16 school year, with more than 800 individuals from the business community volunteering their time and talent.

 

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