Sandy Springs team 3rd in JA contest

Two Sandy Springs teens, Taryana Gilbeau of North Springs Charter High School and Kevin Shutzberg of Riverwood International Charter School, finished third in the Junior Achievement North American Company of the Year Competition, held at Boston’s Northeastern University on July 17 and 18.

Their company, MagneticKits, was among five Atlanta-area companies that competed against other teen-led businesses from across the U.S. and Canada.

The competition “was truly an eye-opening experience,” said Shutzberg, a rising senior and the president of MagneticKits. “Every company had a unique business plan and marketing strategy. I can’t wait to see what people will come up with next year, now that we know what we are up against in this competition.”

Gilbeau and Shutzberg are members of JA Fellows, Junior Achievement of Georgia’s entrepreneurship-focused, after-school program, featured in the Sandy Springs Reporter on May 15. Their company, MagneticKits, whose owner/officers included other Sandy Springs students, sold magnetized organization kits and earned $3,000 in 13 weeks of sales, donating 20 percent of the profits to JA of Georgia.

The company’s shareholders saw a return of $10.60 per share on their initial investment of $2 per share. MagneticKits received Best Company at the JA Fellows Expo, the Atlanta competition that qualified the company for the North American competition.

“We were so pleased to have five companies selected for the JA North American Company of the Year Competition,” said Jack Harris, the president of JA of Georgia. “We feel that the JA Fellows program truly provides the in-depth business experience necessary to make our students successful not only at this competition, but also as they enter the work force.”

Holy Spirit grad rolls to prize

The Bridgestone Americas Safety Scholars video contest will announce Aug. 10 whether a spring graduate of Holy Spirit Preparatory School in Sandy Springs gets a $5,000 college scholarship.

Adam Lindenau, who this fall will attend Full Sail University, a media arts school in Orlando, Fla., is one of 10 finalists out of 817 entries in the national video contest for 16- to 21-year-olds. Participants had to create short videos about auto safety or eco-consciousness while operating a vehicle.

Making the top 10 earned Lindenau a set of Bridgestone or Firestone tires. If he is one of three grand-prize winners, he’ll get a $5,000 scholarship, and his video could be aired on TV stations across the national as part of a safety campaign backed by Bridgestone Americas and nonprofit educational group Driver’s Edge.

Lindenau’s video is about the importance of not drinking and driving. It features a basketball player who is paralyzed in a car accident after driving under the influence.

“I love sounds and visuals and thought it would be neat to use the steady beat of the basketball instead of a heartbeat to grab the audience’s attention and paint a picture without words,” Lindenau said. “This contest is such a cool idea that allows teens to get out the message about driving safely.”

Judging criteria for the finalists included how well the videos promoted safety- or eco-consciousness behind the wheel and how creatively they communicated their message. People voted for their favorite videos among the finalists at www.safetyscholars.com. The videos are online at YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/SafetyScholars).

“Safety Scholars is a tremendously effective way for us to communicate our commitment to teen driving safety and environmental responsibility,” said Christine Karbowiak, a Bridgestone spokeswoman. “It’s a program for teens, by teens, so the Safety Scholars campaign engages young drivers to think critically about some very important issues.”