Four Lemont High School students were honored for their work at Junior Achievement of Chicago’s 2014 Scholarship Recipient Award Presentation at the Union League Club in Chicago on May 14. Seniors Margaret Rogers and Lainey Saucedo each walked away with scholarships from the event, where $100,000 in scholarships was presented to outstanding high school students from the Chicagoland area. The school’s Junior Achievement entry — “Lemontopoly” — was honored as Chicagoland’s Junior Achievement “Company of the Year,” while juniors Conner Brandt and Connor Koehler both earned individual honors for their work within the company.
Rogers received the event’s top award – the Colonel Henry Crown Scholarship – which provides $20,000 over the course of four years at an accredited college of her choice, and includes a paid summer internship at a Henry Crown affiliated company each year she’s in college. Rogers is the fourth Lemont student in seven years - and the third member of her family - to earn a Henry Crown Scholarship, joining Mary Rogers ‘08, Ashley Basiorka ‘09 and Clare Rogers ‘11. Saucedo was the recipient of a $2,000 William Wrigley, Jr. Co. Foundation Scholarship.
Under Rogers’ leadership, “Lemontopoly” became the fourth Lemont entry in six years to earn Chicagoland “Company of the Year” accolades. Brandt was named “Finance Vice President of the Year,” while Koehler was tabbed as the “Marketing Vice President of the Year.” Both were picked from the many area students taking part in Junior Achievement programs.
The officer team - which included Brandt, Koehler, Rogers, Saucedo (Vice President of Public Relations), junior Melissa Smith (Vice President of Production) and sophomore Rachel Brunory (Vice President of Human Resources) - represented “Lemontopoly” at the Chicagoland area competition on May 2. The group presented its product as well as a Web site and its business plan, which included details ranging from production to advertising. The students answered questions from Chief Executive Officers and entrepreneurs from the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana area about the company and its product.
Each year, Lemont’s Junior Achievement organization builds a business from scratch. Students form a board to create the product, sell stock in the company and market the product, all with a goal of reaping a dividend for its shareholders.
“Lemontopoly” is the ultimate hometown product for Lemont residents, as it not only provides students, parents, alumni and residents with their own localized version of the classic game “Monopoly,” but also serves as a directory for some of the top businesses and organizations in Lemont and its surrounding areas.
The Junior Achievement Board worked with senior DJ Wohead and Art teacher Megan Skopek — herself a 2005 Lemont graduate — to capture the rich history of Lemont while creating the “Lemontopoly” game board. All of the slots available for advertisements on the game board sold out, which afforded customers the opportunity to pre-purchase games at a lower cost. The product’s Web site - www.lemontopoly.com - was designed by senior Erika Kubowitsch.
“Lemontopoly” would not have become the Chicagoland Junior Achievement “Company of the Year” without support from the Lemont community. Not only were each of the advertising slots sold, but all 250 games that were ordered sold as well. That allowed “Lemontopoly” to pay a 500 percent return on investment to its shareholders and make $500 donations both to the Lemont Food Pantry and Lemont High School’s upcoming “Food Fight for Hunger” event.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students from kindergarten through 12th grade about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement programs help prepare students for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create more jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Volunteers from the community deliver the Junior Achievement curriculum while sharing experiences with students.
Lemont’s Junior Achievement faculty advisor is Business teacher John Aspel.