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Junior Achievement Joins CIBC to Honour BC’s Top Student Entrepreneurs

Photo: Jan Bell-Irving, JABC President & CEO with student company award winners with teachers, advisers and volunteers.

June 11, 2015

JA British Columbia (JABC) is pleased to announce that Corkulent has won the prestigious 2015 CIBC Student Company of the Year Award and the Profit Performance Award. The winning team is made up of students from Britannia Community Secondary School who participated in this year’s Junior Achievement Student Company Program.
Jan Bell-Irving, JABC President & CEO with student company award winners with teachers, advisers and volunteers.

Corkulent produces and sells tiny succulents planted in magnetized bottle corks that can be placed on fridges or file cabinets. This idea enables the customer to enjoy nature in their living space while conserving water and re-purposing cast-off materials.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of JABC, two special awards – the Outstanding Teacher Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Award – were also presented.

These awards, among many others, were presented last night June 10th at the Celebrate JA! event, sponsored by CIBC and held at UBC Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. Over JA 20 students were awarded and honoured for their outstanding performance, creativity, and demonstration of business acumen.

“CIBC congratulates Corkulent and all award recipients for displaying leadership, entrepreneurial drive and creativity,” says Mike Stevenson, Region Head & SVP Retail Markets, BC & Northern Territories, CIBC. “In celebration of the 60 years of inspiration of JABC, CIBC is proud to partner with Junior Achievement to further financial literacy for today’s youth and build business leaders of tomorrow.”

The Corkulent executive team was recognized for creating a unique product, understanding their target market and great teamwork. Managed by 25 students from Britannia Secondary in Vancouver, the company was mentored by Paula Garcia (CIBC), James Atherton (Great West Life) and Sariah Conor (JA alumnus). Business teachers Lee Nipp and Ksena Tatomir completed the advisory team. The company sold their total inventory of almost 1,000 cork plants, generated a return on investment of over 400%, and donated more than $600 to youth charities including the Lower Mainland Green Team and C.L.I.C.K. (Contributing to the Lives of Inner City Kids).

Other recipients of the CIBC Student Company Awards include:

  • Innovation Award: Mode – a company that sells funky mid-calf socks featuring black and white outlines of Science World and Canada Place (who also received honourable mention for the Student Company of the Year Award).
  • Digital Marketing Award: Cards Reincarnate – a company that produces hand-crafted greeting cards infused with seeds that grow into wildflowers when planted.

This event was attended by Larry Espe, Superintendent of Skills & Career Pathways, Learning Division, Ministry of Education for the Province of British Columbia. The keynote address was delivered by Meredith J. Powell, founder of The Next Big Thing (TNBT).

Celebrate JA!, an annual awards and celebration event running for more than eleven years today, is an opportunity for the achievements of JA students who have shown extraordinary drive, creativity and leadership.

Please see the backgrounder below for the full list of awards presented at Celebrate JA! 2015.


Photos available via

For more information, please contact:

Annie Ko
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Junior Achievement of British Columbia
604.688.3887, ext. 231


Junior Achievement of British Columbia

Student Award and Scholarship Winners 2014-2015

Individual Awards

JABC Award for Oratory and Presentation Skills

Angela Ngo, Britannia Secondary School, Vancouver
Nabeel Sohail, Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver
Samantha Wu, Business, University of Western Ontario, from Burnaby
Loretta Yang, Business, Simon Fraser University, from Vancouver

Dr. Donald Rix Inspiring Business Excellence Scholarship

Margaret Anteros, Byrne Creek Secondary School, Burnaby

The Keg Spirit Foundation Next Generation Leaders Forum Award

Maya Gay, Okanagan Mission Secondary School, Kelowna
Felix He, Seaquam Secondary School, Delta
Jessica Nguyen, Killarney Secondary School, Vancouver
Robyn Sahota, Burnaby South Secondary School, Burnaby
Alisa Tatham, Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, Courtenay

JABC Award for Excellence and Leadership

Oles Andrienko, Britannia Secondary School, Vancouver

Team Awards

JABC Innovation Jam Award – Overall Winner

Team Name: No More Secrets, Vernon Secondary School, Vernon
Students: Tess Despres, Demetre Kontos, Tanner Lorenson, Megan Reeves, Emma Tetrault, Matt Young

JABC Innovation Jam Award – People’s Choice Award

Team Name: Ecopac, Windsor Secondary School, Vancouver
Students: Chris Bolton, Yenah Kim, Erik Kiudorf, Josh Vann, Anton Villareal, Taylor Wright

JABC Titan Business Challenge Award – Winter 2014

Team Name: The Under Achievers, PASS-Woodwinds Alternate School, Parksville
Students: Kyle Johnson, Ryan Quinney, Antonio Zanchetta

JABC Titan Business Challenge Award – Spring 2015

Team Name: Team Logic, Burnaby North Secondary School School, Burnaby
Students: Brian Chang, Jimmy Chang, Mark Chuang

JABC Investment Strategies Award – Winter 2014

Team Name: ES, West Vancouver Secondary School, West Vancouver
Students: Evan Boyd, Santiago Martinez Keddy

JABC Investment Strategies Award – Spring 2015

Team Name: Bring It, David Thompson Secondary School, Vancouver
Students: Mandeep Aulakh, Sanjit Parmar, Tanveer Sanghera

Student Company Awards

CIBC Student Company of the Year Award

Corkulent, Britannia Community Secondary School, Vancouver

(Honourable mention: Mode, Multiple schools in Metro Vancouver)

Student Company Profit Performance Award

Corkulent, Britannia Community Secondary School, Vancouver

Student Company Innovation Award

Mode, Multiple schools in Metro Vancouver

Student Company Digital Marketing Award

Cards Reincarnate, Multiple schools in Metro Vancouver

Ledcor Group Rural Company of the Year Award

BASECAMP Cards, Okanagan Mission Secondary, Kelowna

Junior Achievement of Canada National Award Winner from BC

Peter Mansbridge Youth Leadership Award

Miguel Widjaja, Gleneagle Secondary School, Coquitlam