Junior Achievement Announces Winners of National JA Social Innovation Challenge

Teams from Bay Area, Florida Space Coast, and Upstate New York Receive Honors. Innovation Challenge is part of Chick-fil-A’s Commitment to Education

Three teams of Junior Achievement students representing the Northern California Bay Area, Florida Space Coast, and Upstate New York have been selected as first-, second-, and third-place honorees at the inaugural national JA Social Innovation Challenge. The winning teams were selected from participating teams from across the country.

The challenge, which is made possible through the support of Chick-fil-A, Inc., is a national competition in which high school students are invited to submit their innovative ideas for improving and making an impact on their communities. The student teams with the top ideas participated in an exclusive, virtual workshop experience during which Chick-fil-A innovation experts and entrepreneurs provided additional guidance and resources for transforming students’ ideas into reality. The JA Social Innovation Challenge workshop took place on April 19 and 20, 2021. Prizes for the top three winning teams are valued at up to $500 per student.

The winning teams are:

  • 1st Place: Sneaky Straw from Millbrae, San Ramon, and San Bruno, California

The Sneaky Straw is a way to reduce plastic straws. The Sneaky Straw is a reusable, collapsible, eco-friendly, portable straw that can replace the plastic straws that we use in our everyday life.

  • 2nd Place: Green Paste from Melbourne and Rockledge, Florida

Green Paste is the first and only biodegradable toothpaste tube. Other alternatives include toothpaste tabs and toothpaste powder, which do not contain fluoride. Fluoride is recommended by dentists to help strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay. Green Paste allows people to have the same feeling of traditional toothpaste without the pollution.

  • 3rd Place: Eco-Drain from Rochester, New York

Eco-Drain is a self-composting garbage disposal that addresses a common barrier to the composting industry: lack of convenience. It provides users with the ease of putting their compost directly down their sink and letting Eco-Drain do the rest with the touch of a button.

“Social enterprises that utilize entrepreneurial thinking are playing a bigger role in addressing societal challenges,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “We are thankful for Chick-fil-A’s support in helping our students explore the importance of social innovation.”

“At Chick-fil-A, we want to help our youth become future leaders and community builders and this program does just that,” said Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. “We’re proud of our long-standing partnership with Junior Achievement and we are proud to support these students as they make the world a better place, one idea at a time.”

The funding for the JA Social Innovation Challenge is part of Chick-fil-A’s commitment to expanding its partnership with Junior Achievement USA to support education initiatives. Through this commitment in the fall of 2020, Junior Achievement USA launched a redesigned JA Be Entrepreneurial® program to help high school students understand the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. The enhanced program, which has been part of JA’s high school programming for nearly 20 years, has been updated to include a completely re-imagined modular format introducing students to concepts such as creative problem-solving, how to think like an entrepreneur, and innovating for the social good.

High schools interested in learning more about adding JA Be Entrepreneurial to their classroom curriculum should contact their local Junior Achievement office. For more information about Junior Achievement and programs like JA Be Entrepreneurial, visit www.JA.org.