BOSTON, April 16, 2024 --Founded in 2021 by tech-legend Ralph de la Vega, former President and CEO of AT&T Mobile and Business Solutions, the De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship Award is the highest global award for the JA Company Program. The winning JA Company of the Year student teams from JA's six regions—JA Africa, JA Americas, JA Asia Pacific, JA Europe, INJAZ Al-Arab/JA MENA, and Junior Achievement USA—automatically become finalists.



Find out more at jaworldwide.org

The JA Company Program is the world's oldest hands-on entrepreneurial experience, helping students develop real companies that create products or services to meet a specific need; build, market, and deliver products; and earn real profits. Student companies compete at the local level, and some move on to national and regional competitions. Until this award was established, the highest prize that a JA student company could earn was the coveted first place at one of JA's six regional competitions.


The 2024 De La Vega Global Entrepreneurship Award competition included teams from JA Ghana (AID Electronics), JA Argentina (MANIK), Prestasi Junior Indonesia (SIEVASCO), JA Greece (Isometricks), INJAZ Oman (Warif), and JA Southeastern Pennsylvania (Youthful Thinkers).


Today, award sponsor Ralph de la Vega announced the 2024 winner: Isometricks (JA Greece), students at Experimental Senior High School of the University of Macedonia and winners of the 2023 JA Europe Gen-E Company of the Year competition. The team won US$15,000 cash prize for its product Wizzle, a 3D-printed puzzle game with medical and educational applications. The five other JA student companies also won US$5,000 each, courtesy of the de la Vega Family Foundation.


To Isometricks, playing is a serious matter. The company's product, Wizzle—a combination of the words "wizard" and "puzzle"—is an open-ended game of thought and creativity with hidden math and educational and medical applications. This pioneering collection of colorful tiles is designed according to mathematical rules (each puzzle is designed by members of the Experimental High School Math Club) and assembled with mosaic logic, providing endless possibilities for creativity. As a non-digital, hands-on learning experience, Wizzle is a valuable educational tool for teachers and students, enabling inclusive learning experiences for those with dyslexia and for refugee students who struggle with language. Additionally, Wizzle is a promising non-pharmaceutical intervention suitable for people of all ages with mild cognitive disabilities.


Mr. De La Vega commented on the contributions all six finalists are making to the world: "The power of entrepreneurship is that it enables you to achieve anything you want to achieve. There is strife in the world. There's hunger in the world. There's war in the world. But you bring messages of hope, of inspiration, of overcoming adversities, of partnering, of working with each other."


JA Worldwide CEO Asheesh Advani agreed. "Being an entrepreneur in your teenage years is transformational, teaching essential skills early in life. And, as Team Isometricks and all the student finalists demonstrated, JA entrepreneurs can create value for society as well as turning a profit."


About JA Worldwide

As one of the world's largest and most-impactful youth-serving NGOs, JA Worldwide delivers hands on, immersive learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial health. Reaching more than 17 million young people each year through over 675,000 teachers and business volunteers, JA Worldwide is one of few organizations with the scale, experience, and passion to build a boundless future for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Visit us at jaworldwide.org.


Contact

tere.stouffer@jaworldwide.org


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