Advancing Youth Entrepreneurship with LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell, a JA Board Company and one of the largest plastic, chemicals and refining companies in the world, became an integral part of the JA Company Program. Under the leadership of Mr. Michael McMurray, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for LyondellBasell and JA of Southeast Texas Board Member, the JA Company Program has reached new heights in greater Houston, even when facing a challenging, pandemic-impacted 2020/21 school year. LyondellBasell’s generosity and support has enabled the program to operate optimally and increase its outreach and execution, especially in the area of startup creation and special events, where we have seen steady growth. Over 100 years old, this groundbreaking entrepreneurship and work readiness program, helps high school students create, launch and operate their own startups.

LyondellBasell’s commitment to Advancing Tomorrow’s Workforce has inspired the JA Company Program student officers to think outside of the box and establish companies that focus on mental health, plastic pollution, edu-tech, diversity, sanitization, food wastage and STEM. LyondellBasell also directly mentors a JA Company Program startup, Dulicious Co. from Dulles High School in Fort Bend ISD. Dulicious Co. is one of the leading startups this year and their product Hexawrap - a reusable beeswax wrap - aims to address both the declining bee population and plastic pollution. Sophia Zhao, the startup’s President and CEO stated, “I am incredibly grateful to LyondellBasell for supporting the JA Company Program … as a student leader who has been an active member of this program at Dulles High School for many years, I saw a remarkable shift in the revamped program's performance this past school year, and the events and opportunities JA provided allowed my company, Dulicious Co., to reach an even higher caliber of success. Under the guidance and advice from my LYB mentor, Monica Caudillo, we accomplished more goals than all of our previous years combined, and we are so proud to represent the LyondellBasell campus in the South for the program!”

LyondellBasell also spearheaded the program’s Finance leadership training with Mr. McMurray coaching the CFOs involved on the intricacies of leadership. “Finance and leadership is a critical business segment under the JA Company Program, when meeting with the student leaders, I was very impressed with their questions and knowledge as young business leaders,” said McMurray. “LyondellBasell is dedicated to educating, training and preparing tomorrow’s workforce to be our leaders in multiple industries, including petrochemicals.”

The JA Company Program and Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas is honored to collaborate with our Board Company LyondellBasell, who have championed the essence of the program: Advancing Entrepreneurship.