It’s an amazing experience for high school students to tour Otter Products’ offices in Fort Collins. To see Otter Products professionals at work and to experience the creative and fun workplace is eye opening for many students who participate in JA Business Week. What’s even more amazing is to see those same students take what they learn and work in teams to develop a product of their own.
The number one global innovator of premium protective products for smartphones and tablets, Otter Products shares its innovative spirit and successful business model with students as a project sponsor of JA Business Week. Since 2014, Otter Products has worked with JA to provide a meaningful hands-on learning experience for 9th-12th grade students, in hopes of igniting the entrepreneurial spirit.
“Creating an OtterBox case was a great experience and my favorite part of Business Week,” shared a 2016 student. “I also loved touring the OtterBox offices and meeting the people who work there. I had never been to a company before, and it made me want to work there.”
As Jessica Dieken, marketing coordinator for the OtterCares Foundation said, “We support JA Business Week because it provides a great immersive and entrepreneurial experience for students that aligns with our mission.”
In addition to being a project sponsor for JA Business Week, Otter Products hosts an on-site version of JA Be Entrepreneurial at their headquarters in Fort Collins throughout the school year, inviting JA students into the workplace and challenging them to develop their own entrepreneurial ventures while still in high school.
“OtterCares has been proud to partner with JA since 2012, investing specifically in JA programs focused on entrepreneurship to encourage those skills in students. We are confident that our partnership in these entrepreneurial programs will no doubt inspire future entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said Dieken.
In support of K-12 students, Otter Products shuts down its operations to allow all employees to spend their time teaching JA in a Day in schools across Northern Colorado. In total, 155 Otter Products professionals taught JA programs to 1,900 students in 86 classrooms at 10 different schools in February 2017. Otter Products has one of the highest percentages of employee volunteerism in the country, with more than 80 percent of staff giving back and donating their time, talent and treasure.
“We have never had a Northern Colorado corporate partner take on an entire day of K-12 JA programming for multiple schools in the area. It’s remarkable that more than 150 Otter Products employees volunteered their time to help us reach more classes in one day then we ever have before,” said Elizabeth Winn, JA’s regional director for Northern Colorado and Wyoming. “Through the OtterCares Foundation’s Impact Fund, the company also contributed $30,000 to JA this year, which allowed us to reach thousands of young people with important financial education,” said Winn. “We are incredibly grateful for their generous support and multi-faceted partnership.”
The OtterCares Foundation’s mission is simple – inspiring kids to change the world – and that’s exactly what they’re doing. The Foundation champions innovative education that inspires youth to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists who create lasting and impactful change in their communities.
“We focus on inspiring students to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists because that is how we believe we can create lasting change in our communities and the world,” said Dieken. “We want kids to learn that their ideas matter and that they can – they can start businesses, they can watch their ideas come to life and they can truly make a difference. Partnering with JA allows us to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and philanthropists who really will change the world!”