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At 10-years-old, Mrs. Cathy Hughes manufactured and sold soap puppies that not only landed her first place in a Junior Achievement (JA) business competition, but also fueled the entrepreneur in her who would go on to create Radio One, TV one and more. She explained how during the JA of Central Maryland’s BizTown grand re-opening where a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Radio One, Allegis, McDonald’s and Stanley Black &Decker also took place.

“It was a bar of soap wrapped very creatively in an oversized washcloth with yarn to make floppy ears and a face,” she recalled. “I sold it for 50 cents, then I figured I could sell more if I discounted it, so I sold 2-for-99 and I’d put in the extra penny to make it a dollar.”

JA’s mission is to prep young people to succeed in a global economy. Part of that includes introducing the children to business leaders and placing them in real-life scenarios for top of the line, hands-on experience in career paths they express interest in. So on December 4, the Central Maryland headquarters invited a bunch of Baltimore-area fifth graders out to takeover BizTown, their student-run, 10,000-square-foot American city replica featuring retail stores, a TV station, science lab, investment firm, real estate company, City Hall and Radio One.

“To see my radio station being a part of JA BizTown almost brought me to tears. More importantly, to see the CEOs of those companies that are training children being prodomintently women. When I was 10-years-old and in JA, I wouldve never imagined that JA BizTown would have 9 out of 10 CEOs being little girls in the fifth grade,” she said. “The mayor was absolutley, positively someone who should be on television. She was articulate. She was as cute as she could possibly be. She was so bright and engaging. I don’t know whether or not she will have political aspirations when she gets to be an adult, but I know JA instilled in me the desire to be an entrepreneur and when I looked at that little girl who was serving as mayor of BizTown, I envisioned her as possibly being a woman president of the United States.”

Watch Mrs. Hughes further explain how Junior Achievement inspired Radio One:

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