Del. Walter E. Fauntroy and Mayor Marion Barry were among five Washingtonians given the Junior Achievement Distinguished Achievement Award last week at Zion Baptist Church in Northwest Washington.
Junior Achievement (JA) is a national program that teaches high school students the principles of operating small businesses, according to Timothy Coffey, business relations director for Junior Achievement of Metropolitan Washington, Inc.
Despite snow-covered streets, more than 400 persons came to the church at 4850 Blagden Ave. NW for the Second Annual Junior Achievement Night.
Several JA participants from D.C. public schools described their experiences in the program. One was Rodney Little, who said, "Junior Achievement has been many things to many people. It gives a great deal of satisfaction. It's taught me the fundamentals of business -- skills I will be able to use all my life."
In addition to Fauntroy and Barry, JA awards were presented to Vincent E. Reed, superintendent of D.C. public schools; Flaxie M. Pinkett, president of John R. Pinkett, Inc., a real estate firm; Sugar Ray Leonard, an Olympic gold medalist in boxing and the Mid-Atlantic Welterweight Champion; Theodore Hagans Jr., president of Fort Lincoln New Town Corporation, Hagans Management and Hagans Parking, and Lee Elder, professional golfer.
In accepting his award, Fauntroy praised the "many people in this (Zion Baptist Church) community who have invested their time and energy" in the JA program.
Reed cited the value of the JA program and said, "There's no greater investment we can make than an investment in the future of our young people."
Local business firms donate money to the JA program, and volunteers from the firms help students develop and maintain businesses. In the District of Columbia, 23 Junior Achievement companies involve 300 students from six public high schools. Fifteen of the JA companies are based at Zion Baptist Church.
Each JA company elects officers, sells stock, manufactures products or provides services and sells products door-to-door or at JA trade fairs at local shopping centers. The companies manufacture items such as desk pen sets, automobile trouble lights and T-shirts, and also form newspapers, auditing firms and banks to handle other JA company accounts.
Besides Zion Baptist Church, other sponors of JA companies in the District include Potomac Electric Power Company, C&P Telephone Company, American Security Bank, IBM, American Telephone & Telegraph and Touche Ross & Company.