Q. What is the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)?
A. YEA! is a fun and exciting class that guides middle and high school students through the process of starting their own REAL business or nonprofit organization, and teaches them how to make a job - not just take a job! Students learn as much about self-esteem, personal potential and leadership skills as they do about budgeting, planning and production, and have an opportunity to work directly with, and learn from, business leaders in each local community that YEA! serves!
In short, 11-18 year olds start as students and graduate as CEOs!
Q. What do students do in YEA!?
A. YEA! students do everything that an adult would do who is starting a real business – everything is experiential! They go through the process of identifying and finessing their big idea, writing a formal business plan, presenting their plan to a live panel of investors for their start-up capital funding (think “Shark Tank”!) and then actually launch their business! From registering their DBAs to filing tax returns, YEA! students do everything an adult would do who is starting their own real business.
Q. How long has the program existed?
A. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy began with one class at the University of Rochester in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation. YEA! is expanding nationwide to help students across our country launch and live the American Dream!
Q. Where are YEA! classes offered?
A. YEA! Classes operate at 100+ locations in states from Maine to California & now, in India & China, too!
Q. What percentage of YEA! students graduate high school, and attend college?
A. 100% of YEA! graduates graduate high school on time and 99% of those eligible enroll in secondary education.
Q. Who are YEA! students?
A. Successful YEA! students are dedicated, focused, and passionate about business. They have a drive to succeed and are energetic and enthusiastic. 49% of YEA! students are female and 56% are underrepresented minorities. Locally, students come from Union and surrounding counties.
Q. How many students and volunteers have participated in the YEA! program?
A. Since 2004, over 2,000 students have graduated from YEA! and have launched over 1,000 enterprises. Over 13,000 business and community leaders as YEA! volunteers have supported the students’ experiences.
Q. What is the goal of the program?
A. YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship and social innovation as synonymous with success and freedom.
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