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Award-winner Jessica Piechota earned $2,000 scholarship from Knowledge Matters.

John Jay High School senior Jessica Piechota won second place in the fall 2021 All-Access Virtual Business Scholarship Challenge. Her award recognized a profitable business simulation that she ran.

The scholarship challenge was created by Knowledge Matters, a simulation-based educational content creation company and provider of career-based simulations for high schools, colleges and corporations. The challenge lets students test their skills in the company’s virtual business line of simulations.

This year’s challenge focus was on the company’s entrepreneurship simulation, where students learned market research, creating a business plan and the elevator pitch, raising money, going to market and operations.

Jessica said she was comfortable working with the virtual business simulation software because it was used in many of her classes at JJHS. The South Salem resident participated in John Jay High School’s four-year business sequence.

“Jessica has achieved enormous success in accounting, business law, finance and in marketing,” Michael Cohen, instructional lead of John Jay’s business and technology department, said. “She displays the utmost academic integrity and respect and is always the consummate classmate to her peers. It is wonderful to see her skills being recognized nationally.”

During the challenge, over 3,500 students participated in 8,383 hours of work over an 11-day period. Students represented 155 high schools in 41 states. According to Knowledge Matters, this year’s scholarship competition had the highest turnout in the three years since it began.

Jessica’s business simulation combined a lawn care service with a catering business, and made her company operate only by mobile trucks. It won her the second-place prize of a $2,000 scholarship.

“It was a pleasure to do,” Jessica said of the challenge. She added that she is looking forward to building on what has she’s learned at John Jay by studying business in college, and hopefully, running her own business in the future.

Jessica Leibman is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where she covers the Town of Lewisboro the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

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