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Junior Achievement announces selection of 18 exemplary students

Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania unveiled its inaugural class for 18 Under Eighteen presented by NexTier Bank, showcasing the talents and achievements of students throughout the region.

“These amazing kids are entrepreneurs, social activists, scientists, entertainers and so much more,” Patrice Matamoros, JA president, said. “They are the innovators and providers of hope that are, and will continue to, move our region forward. JA is honored and excited to recognize these young people who make me optimistic for a bright future.”

The talent search was cast across the organization’s footprint in Western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. A diverse committee of community members reviewed each nomination and interviewed finalists to become the select 18.

In addition to being recognized during a Feb. 22 event at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s North Side, JA is working to provide the 18 students with additional educational and leadership opportunities to further their skills and qualifications.

“As a community bank, NexTier Bank is proud to partner with Junior Achievement in their initiative to support the next generation of leaders,” said Natalie Cotherman, the bank’s vice president and director of marketing. “It’s remarkable to see the accomplishments of each honoree.”

Tickets to the event are on sale now, with a limited number of in-person tickets available. JA will announce a virtual ticket option via, where more information about the honorees is available.

Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, headquartered in South Fayette Township, strengthens communities by ensuring every child has an equal opportunity to succeed. Through business leaders and community mentor volunteers, the nonprofit organization provides relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school the knowledge and skills they need to enter the real world.

Last school year, JA impacted more than 51,000 students across 56 counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.


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