Junior Achievement unveils next group of ‘18 Under Eighteen’

18 under Eighteen Class of 2023

 Junior Achievement of Western PA (JA) unveiled its second 18 Under Eighteen honoree class, showcasing the notable talents and achievements of eighteen of our region’s most incredible young people and highlighting the vast young talent in our region.  

“These outstanding kids represent both the best of the next generation and the good that exists in the world,” said Patrice Matamoros, President of Junior Achievement of Western PA. “Not only are they building their own impressive resumes with their entrepreneurial spirit, servant nature and maverick mentality, but their actions will have positive impacts on our communities, nation and world for years to come.” 

The class of 2023 features advocates, entrepreneurs, musicians, engineers, and changemakers ranging from 10-years-old to 18-years-old. The honorees represent a diverse cross section of our region, including areas in Allegheny, Beaver, Cambria, and Washington counties. 

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

 Jason Garland

TyLynn Gault


Grace Howard

Mohammad Shedeed

 Karsen Thompson

In addition to being honored at the recognition event, the eighteen students are currently virtually attending the Intern to VP ® Professional Branding and Leadership Development Training Program presented by Moments of Focus LLC. The honorees are learning the importance of personal branding, cross-divisional networking and professional development. 

“It has been a joy coaching this group of young professionals who are already in place to make major changes in the world,” shared BeNeca Griffin, Moments of Focus creator and CEO. 

The eighteen honorees will also be featured on local Lamar Advertising billboards around Pittsburgh and surrounding areas prior to the event.  

The new class will be honored at a recognition ceremony on Feb. 7, at the UPMC Club at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh. 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 the JA website. To learn more about the eighteen honorees, or to support the event, visit westernpa.ja.org. 

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.  

JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. 

During the 2021-22 school year, JA impacted over 30,000 students across 56 counties in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. To learn more about Junior Achievement of Western PA visit westernpa.ja.org for more information.




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