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The Search is on for 18 of Our Region’s Most Outstanding Young People


Calling all young achievers, advocates, entrepreneurs, and innovators! Nominations are now open for Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania’s (JA) new 18 Under Eighteen class – an initiative dedicated to showcasing the talents and achievements of eighteen of our region’s most incredible young people. 

“18 Under Eighteen is a way for JA to honor young people from across our region, who have demonstrated leadership on and off the field,” said Patrice Matamoros, President of Junior Achievement of Western PA. “We are excited to discover another talented and passionate group and connect them to opportunities that can propel them in their personal and professional journeys.” 

Those selected for 18 Under Eighteen represent a wide range of strengths, interests and skills that embody how they have distinguished themselves as leaders and role models among their peers. Our 2022 class included entrepreneurs, social activists, community leaders, artists, and changemakers across various fields like science, medicine, dance, politics, business, and more.  

“18 Under Eighteen has opened many doors for me and has given me the confidence to chase after my dreams,” said Anne Lindsay, an 18 Under Eighteen class of 2022 honoree. "The other honorees showed me that there’s no limit to what I can do, and that age is never an excuse.” 

Individuals looking to either nominate a student or self-nominate should consider the following questions: 

- How does the nominee illustrate leadership at school and/or in the community? 

- In what ways does the nominee give back and make their community better? 

- What extraordinary skills, talents or qualities contribute to the nominee's success?  

At the end of the nomination form, nominators are encouraged to include supplemental information such as a writing sample, portfolio, photo, or video that could strengthen the application. 

JA will celebrate the outstanding honorees during an awards presentation on February 7, 2023, at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Honorees will also receive recognition in the media, leadership development opportunities and real-life experiences such as mentoring and job shadowing through event partners. 

Nominations are open through October 28, 2022, and the new class of honorees will be announced on January 10, 2023. JA will accept nominations for individuals 18 years or younger residing in the 56-county footprint of western PA and northern West Virginia. 

Click here to begin your nomination application. 

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