2017 JA Inspiration Scholars Hannah Philip, Oliver Martinez-Reyes, Janeth Mancha, Presley Coonts, & Aiden Minard

JA Inspiration Scholarships are awarded to JA students who embody the JA spirit and show great promise in their futures. Read more about the outstanding students who received $5,000 JA Inspiration Scholarships in 2017.

JA Inspiration Scholar: Janeth Mancha
2017 Carson J. Spencer Scholarship Recipient

Janeth Mancha’s enthusiasm for performing arts, leadership and business radiates to everyone she meets. A 2017 graduate of Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts in the Mapleton School District, Janeth is a committed young woman who has already experienced the excitement and challenges of starting her own business.  Along with two friends, Janeth developed a company called Sports Cabanas, designed to rent tents, chairs, coolers and other needed equipment to families and sports teams attending sporting events.

While Janeth and her friends ultimately closed their business due to school and other outside commitments, the experience taught them a lot about launching and sustaining an enterprise. They registered their company in Colorado, won start-up cash from competitions such as Denver Start-up Week, and developed a company logo. They assessed marketing, staffing and budget needs and went through the entire process of developing a business.

“The experience connected me with mentors and other business leaders, and I gained insight into business that most people lack at my age,” said Janeth. “Most importantly, I grew as a person and discovered that I am young, I am passionate, I am full of ideas, and I have room for success and failure.”

Janeth credits her four years of participating in JA programs such as JA Finance Park, JA Business Week and JA Venture Academy for helping her identify her education and career path. In the Fall of 2017, Janeth plans to attend the University of Denver and major in business management.

In addition to her participation in JA and her company, Janeth participated in Choir, Theatre, National Honor Society, Student Council and was a TEDx Mile High Youth Ambassador. All of her educational and extracurricular experiences have helped Janeth develop outstanding skills and relationships that will serve her well on her life’s journey.

JA Inspiration Scholar: Oliver Martinez-Reyes
2017 Honorary Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Scholarship Recipient

Imagine graduating from high school only three courses shy of an associate’s degree from the Community College of Denver (CCD). Well, that is exactly what Oliver Martinez-Reyes did when he graduated from CEC Early College in spring 2017.  With a passion for business and a drive for success, Oliver is an accomplished young man who takes education and hard work seriously. He will be the first in his family to graduate from college – a goal he works toward with pride. He ultimately strives to be independent and successful and to help his family.

Oliver had his first experience with Junior Achievement (JA) when he attended JA Business Week as a freshman in high school. Although he didn’t know anyone, he quickly immersed himself in the thrill of learning and his growing interest in business. He attended JA Business Week three times throughout high school and participated in JA Capitalism with a Conscience and JA Career Success. Oliver’s dedication and smile are well known among JA staff and volunteers because he generously volunteers his time as a JA Ambassador, speaking at various JA fundraising and kick-off events.

“The exposure I’ve had with JA has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams in business. JA gave me mentorship and the support to work hard and seek new opportunities,” said Oliver.

In addition to his JA involvement, he was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at CCD, which recognizes students with a 3.5 grade point average or higher who have completed at least 12 CCD credits. Oliver also participated in FBLA, volunteered at the Denver Central Public Library and coached DCIS’s girls’ middle school basketball team.

“Oliver is on track to complete his associate’s degree this summer, an amazing feat to accomplish in four years of high school,” said Brandon Protas, director of college pathways at the Community College of Denver. “His motivation is clear; he has an insatiable thirst for education that he combines with a commitment to hard work. He is a leader today, and he will be a leader tomorrow.”

After graduating from CCD, Oliver will attend the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and major in business administration/accounting/finance.

The following students were selected to receive $1,500 JA Inspiration Scholarships:

Presley Coonts
Graduated from Rock Canyon High School
Attending the University of Colorado – Boulder

Aiden Minard
Graduated from Mountain Range High School
Attending the University of Wyoming

Hannah Philip, 2017 Kinslow Scholarship Recipient
Graduated from Rocky Canyon High School
Attending the University of Colorado – Boulder