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Good For Business: Comstock JA Team Scores National Title

Comstock High School Junior Achievement Team 2

We are happy to include this blog by Comstock High School teacher Alison Nord celebrating her students' recent accomplishment through Junior Achievement and highlighting its significance for potential talent and business development in the area.

You don't have a Holo-Generator, but four students at Comstock High School firmly believe you'll want one someday-badly.

That conviction was the fuel for HashTagSwag, the students' Junior Achievement team that earned the 2014 national title in the Titan Challenge, a business simulation competition.

HashTagSwag, which I had the honor to guide as their teacher, outperformed seven other high school teams in the United States and Canada in the finals earlier this month. Teammates Eric Grant, Katy Way, Jack Weir and George Webber tackled Titan as part of Comstock's accounting and entrepreneurship classes. They bested other schools in the region during a tournament at Western Michigan University in January, then earned a spot in the final from among 53 competitors nationwide in early May.

Comstock High School Junior Achievement Team

The Titan Challenge is especially effective because it offers a dynamic learning experience instead of being static. Students plan, implement and evaluate their business ideas each quarter and they have to make changes based on economic scenarios, competition and other factors. I've used Titan in my classroom for seven years.

HashTagSwag took on a fictitious product-a Holo-Generator, an all-purpose electronic device-and built a business strategy around it. Together they made decisions on capital investment, production, pricing, marketing, research and development, and charitable giving. Each day they submitted their business decisions to Junior Achievement's Titan Challenge computer system, which compiled the data, issued industry reports and posed business challenges for the team to solve.

On May 14, Comstock was named the winner for being most successful with its virtual company. It's a thrill for our HashTagSwag crew, who worked so hard to succeed.

There's more to it than the joy of victory. Junior Achievement programs like Titan help prepare students for the real working world. There's also mentoring, which HashTagSwag received from Junior Achievement of Southwest Michigan volunteers Brian Lueth of Plante Moran and Kathy Fosmoe of Keller Williams Realty.

These business professionals invested personal time and energy in our kids, equipping them for the Titan Challenge-and more importantly, to be effective business leaders of the future.

So don't be surprised if you find a Holo-Generator on a store shelf someday. And don't be surprised when you discover it came from a group of bright entrepreneurs from Kalamazoo!

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