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By Connie Langhorst and Starla Metzspchs

SPCHS students and staff were on hand to accept the prestigious Junior Achievement “2017 Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award” that was presented to SPCHS at the recent Junior Achievement Hall of Fame event. The celebration took place at Busch Garden’s Tampa Bay, Dragon Fire Grill on Thursday, March 2.  See the video played at the event honoring SPCHS students.


At SPCHS, we are proud of our ten-year partnership with Junior Achievement (JA). The “Outstanding Achievement Award” presented to SPCHS honors our students for their volunteer contributions in support of financial literacy education.

During the 2015-16 school year, JA participating SPCHS students volunteered at 15 Pinellas County Schools, taught 96 classes and assisted 1,799 students with Financial Literacy Education. In total, our students contributed a total of 480 hours of community service to Pinellas County Schools.

At SPCHS, JA has changed from being an adult-led to a student-led program. As an example of a student project, SPCHS students created and implemented a recycling program two years ago that saves Junior Achievement money each year. The good work initiated by this SPCHS project, and others, has been replicated, as a “how to succeed”model, at other Junior Achievement-affiliated high schools.

We are proud of our four seniors who serve as JA Co-Presidentsdsc_1714: Meg Fister and Rebekah Wyant, shown in the photo on the left, and Aaliyah Miller and Desiree Stefanik featured in the photo below.


One of the co-presidents, Aaliyah Miller, accepted the award on behalf of SPCHS, and shared these comments:


I look forward to passing the baton on to the next group of students who are coming into the program. I have done my part, so it should be much easier for them. It was a nice experience in recognition of our hard work and for our high school to be recognized by major businesses, such as Bank of America and HSN. It was an honor to have our work recognized by these businesses and to be rewarded for our work in this way.

Bailey Willis, an SPCHS junior and JA member, attended the event and had this to say about the experience:

“It was an honor to be invited to be a part of this event and to see how the seniors do things.”

dsc_1729                                                                           Baily Willis and Desmond Douglas

Julie Brecher, Vice President of Development for Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, Inc., acknowledged our students in a follow up letter to SPCHS Principal Starla Metz:

Congratulations again. I hope you all enjoyed your evening, it was such an honor to award you and the students with the 2017 Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award last night at the Hall of Fame, I hope you enjoyed the evening.  It has been a pleasure working with you and thank you for all you do!

JA’s Legacy Award recipients and presenting sponsors for the Hall of Fame Awards included: HSN, PWC, SKYES, BUSCH GARDENS, OUTBACK, and TAMPA BAY TIMES.

Pictures and video are compliments of Junior Achievement.

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