Young entrepreneurs receive mentorship from G3 Makerspace

The Guam Green Growth (G3) Circular Economy Makerspace and Innovation Hub (G3 Makerspace) opened its doors to Junior Achievement (JA) Guam teams as they prepared for a competition for young entrepreneurs.  
JA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.  
In February of this year, the non-profit held the 2023-2024 JA Company of the Year Competition at the Guam Community College in Mangilao to recognize these young entrepreneurs and their innovative products.  
Each year, G3 Makerspace has been actively involved in assisting JA teams such as Prikura (Preserve) Guahan, whose members consist of students from Harvest Christian Academy and St. John’s School.  
In December, Prikura Guahan attended mentorship sessions and workshops focused on using the cutting-edge equipment at the G3 Makerspace. At the end of the sessions, Prikura Guahan used the G3 Makerspace equipment to turn locally sourced wood and invasive bamboo into a latte-stone-shaped stamp and inkpad set for the competition.  
“The reason why we chose the stamp is because we wanted to show how invasive bamboo is to Guam. So, for our inkpads, we used invasive species bamboo to make the ink itself,” said Yang Wang, Harvest Christian Academy student and Prikura Guahan president.  
The team engraved positive messages such as ‘good work’ and ‘hafa adai’ into the latte stone-shaped stamps. “For the stamp, we used locally sourced wood and laser-cutting and wood-cutting machines to create the (latte stone) shape and laser-engraved parts,” she added.  
Wang credits G3 Makerspace and Innovation Hub coordinator Abby Crain for providing guidance in the production process. Wang said Crain suggested using charcoalized and crushed invasive bamboo for the inkpads. 
“We assist the teams however we can — whether mentoring, counseling, consulting on materials to use, packaging, and even during conceptualization. We also help them develop and find the most cost-effective ways for production,” Crain said on the range of assistance provided by G3 Makerspace to Prikura Guahan and other JA teams.  
 “We have a partnership with Junior Achievement. Our (Makerspace’s) mission is to promote circular economy and sustainability, and we also aim to promote local production and utilize the plethora of resources available on Guam. We encourage people to buy local instead of importing, and we want to help business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs,” Crain added. 
According to a release from JA, 146 high school students joined this year’s competition, with nine student companies stepping up to the challenge. Companies such as Graphic Center, Title Guaranty of Guam, GTA, Dusit Thani Resort Guam, Bank of Hawaii, and Community First Guam provided support to the student teams.

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