Five Delaware teens who created a company that designed, made and sold a new mobile phone grip have been named one of 15 companies from across the country who will compete for a national award from Junior Achievement.
Panga Tech was named “most innovative” at the Delaware JA Barracuda Bowl. Team members included Kai Davenport-Chaney and Kaiyer Dupree, both seniors at Freire Charter of Wilmington; LaJea Bell, a senior at Conrad Schools of Science; Sreenidhi Banda, a junior at Charter School of Wilmington; and Ameerah York-James, a senior at Mount Pleasant High School.
In most years, the teens would travel to the JA National Student Leadership Summit, but this year, the event will be held virtually.
The students met after school at CSC Global Headquarters in Wilmington to plan and execute their project, which included liquidating their company at the end of the year.
CSC’s volunteer coaches included Rachel Adams, Courtney Casterlin, Greg Dale, Liza Esposito, Caroline Kriz, Chris Maloney, Vanessa McClafferty, Stacy Smith and Renetta Spiess.
During the 2010-2020 academic year, 40 high schools and 65 middle school companies participated in JA programs at corporate hosts CSC or the Microsoft store at Christiana Mall, four middle schools and two community-based sites.
The programs included students from 19 high schools, created 1,122 student jobs and generated more than $36,000 in revenue from start-up investments of $3,500.
Named JA Delaware Company of the year at the Barracuda Bowl was Raiders Inc. from Concord High School. They were followed by second-place 302 Jars of Joy from Lake Forest High School third-place Raven Outfitters from Sussex Tech.
Other winners included:
— Taylor Toman of Middletown High School won a $1,000 scholarship as the 2019-20 JA Company President of the Year.
— Exceptional Volunteer Service Awards went to Vanessa McClafferty, Liz Esposito and Chris Maloney from CSC; Racquel Morrison and Derrick Diksa from Bank of America; and Kim McCafferty from Marlette Funding.
— Shana Dulin DiFrancesco from Conrad High School was named exceptional educator.
— The JA Company Social Impact Award was given to B-Gr8able, with students Liam Eggleston from Conrad High School and Eric Tiaseca-Morales from St. George’s Vo-Tech High School.