It was announced earlier this month by Junior Achievement USA that CocoLoco is one of the fifteen teams that was selected to participate in the 2023 JA USA National Student Leadership Summit (NSLS) held in Washington D.C. This is the fourth consecutive year a team from JA San Diego has gone on to compete in the national competition.

CocoLoco is a student business from Canyon Crest Academy run by Daniella Addeo Cortes, Noah Benhaim, and Shaan Garg. Their team recently placed second at the regional JA Company Program competition.

“We’re thrilled to be traveling to Washington D.C. for the summit and look forward to meeting other like-minded peers from across the country with a common goal of innovation and entrepreneurship. We are looking forward to learning from accomplished mentors and to presenting CocoLoco and our products to members of Congress and successful entrepreneurs,” said Noah, CocoLoco CMO.

Inspired by the nature around them, CocoLoco repurposes coconut shells for handmade succulents and candles. With corporate social responsibility in mind, CocoLoco is committed to sustainability and social impact as they donate a portion of their profits to Cancer for College.

“By repurposing coconut shells, we believe we are providing products that not only bring joy to our customers but also promote a greener and more sustainable lifestyle,” said Daniella, CocoLoco CEO. “Throughout the process of creating CocoLoco, our team has learned the importance of environmental and social responsibility in business, and we’ve grown both personally and professionally by integrating these principles into our entrepreneurial journey.”

At the summit, students will have the opportunity to present their businesses to members of Congress and prominent business leaders. In addition to their presentations, participants will have networking opportunities with student entrepreneurs from other JA locations and business professionals. Students will participate in entrepreneurial workshops and seminars to further develop their leadership skills.

“It is an honor for CocoLoco to be chosen for the prestigious National Student Leadership Summit,” said Noah. We are excited and proud to represent Canyon Crest Academy on this extraordinary national level and are deeply grateful for this opportunity.”

The JA USA National Student Leadership Summit will take place in Washington D.C. from June 11-15. The following is a complete list of student businesses selected to participate in the summit:

  • 4Paws – JA of South Florida (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Battery Drop – JA of North Central Ohio (Canton, OH)
  • CANVAWRAP – JA North (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)
  • Charm Dept. – JA of Greater Miami (Miami, FL)
  • CocoLoco – JA of San Diego County (San Diego, CA)
  • Emocean – JA of North Central Ohio (Canton, OH)
  • EVO – JA of Southeast Texas (Houston, TX)
  • Kool Kits – JA of Delaware (Wilmington, DE)
  • LAF Lounge – JA of Greater St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  • ProFin Technologies – JA of South Florida (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • Simply Co. – JA of Southeast Texas (Houston, TX)
  • SqueaKey Klean – JA of Northern California (San Francisco, CA)
  • Talk Blox – JA of Northern California (San Francisco, CA)
  • TriSense – JA of Greater Boston (Boston, MA)
  • Youthful Thinkers – JA of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)