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Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts accepting nominations for 18 Under 18

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) has announced that it is now accepting nominations for its 18 Under 18 inaugural Class of 2022, sponsored by Teddy Bear Pools. This event provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding young people throughout western Massachusetts who exemplify innovative spirit, leadership and community involvement.


“We’re so excited about this new event,” said William Dziura, Development Director, JAWM. “Through our programs, we see so many young people who are already making a tremendous impact in their communities, so we wanted to find a way to recognize and further encourage these up-and-comers.”


Nominations must be submitted online by March 31, 2022. From the pool of nominations, the judges will select 36 finalists, who will then be interviewed via Zoom by the judges. The final 18 will be notified of their selection by April 22.

Recipients will be honored at an event at Tower Square in Springfield, Massachusetts on May 19. The 18 recipients will be featured in various local media outlets, as well as benefit from a meaningful new network of community leaders and peers and may receive additional opportunities through event partners. They will also be invited to participate in a virtual leadership workshop later in the year.

Nominations are open to anyone 18 years or younger who attends school in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin or Berkshire counties. Involvement in JAWM programs is not required; however, it is considered favorably during the evaluation process. A letter of reference from someone other than the nominator and a creative submission to support the nomination are required.


The judging criteria is divided into three categories:

  • Innovative Spirit
  • Leadership
  • Community Involvement


“We know there are many candidates in our region who are deserving of this recognition, so we invite

educators, youth group leaders, parents and other members of the community to nominate an outstanding

student they know,” said Dziura. “Students can also nominate themselves and are encouraged to do so.”


More information about the criteria and the event, as well as a link to the online nomination form, can be found at


About Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts

Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts was founded in Springfield, MA in 1919 and is the birthplace of JA. Today more than 13,000 students in grades K–12 in Western MA participate in JA programs annually. For more information, visit