Junior Achievement recently made a stop at Georgia-Pacific headquarters to display their new initiative, 3DE, a program that re‐engineers high school education nationwide.With 90 percent of students in public schools, the focus is to develop joint ventures between Junior Achievement, school districts and business communities. 3DE aspires to better reflect the real world for students‐essentially preparing them for life beyond the walls of a classroom. After launching just three years ago, it has already begun to fulfill its purpose and confirm its value by increasing engagement and academic performance with students across America. Although 3DE is a fairly new initiative created by Junior Achievement, GP has had a long‐standing relationship that dates to 1998‐including donations over $20,000, active volunteerism and thought leadership.
On December 18, approximately 100 students from Atlanta’s Douglas High School spent the day presenting solutions for the increasing demand to recycle corrugated packaging‐during a time in which e‐commerce is growing at an unprecedented rate. Think about how often your household shops online, then factor in your neighbor’s orders, now consider the entire country! The increase of online shopping has led to a surge in corrugated boxes, significantly increasing the need for recycling awareness and potentially additional recycling services.
During their day at GP, the students split into groups with rotations that included 20‐minute presentations to a panel of judges, a tour of the headquarters and lunch.
Each group brought a variety of ideas for this recycling dilemma. The students were critiqued on a mixture of objectives that included clearly outlining the problem and putting it into the appropriate context. While explaining these solutions, they had to include specific steps and a strong rationale for the recommended solutions.
The winning group was able to set themselves apart from everyone else, by not just presenting rare ideas and clear resolutions, but mainly because this group consisted of ONE person, Markia Willingham. Markia single-handedly articulated various solutions clearly and provided the most realistic options. She confidently communicated with both strong verbal and non‐verbal communication while using engaging visuals for the audience. Markia created ways to educate and motivate online consumers to recycle boxes received from online shopping by suggesting an app that allows consumers to receive reward points and discounts for recycling. With this app, retailers and consumers can monitor the discounts and rewards points, sign up friends and family to receive additional points and receive information on local recycling organizations. Markia’s well deserved win could possibly lead to future programs and the development of app software to assist with not only the awareness of recycling, but the increase of usage.
Congrats to the impressive winner, Markia Willingham and all the other 3DE participants that are taking advantage of such an awesome program!