The Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize and welcome the 2014-2015 YEA! class from Tippecanoe Valley High School. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, is an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business.
YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students through the process of launching a real business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried after their graduation from the program.
YEA! aims to teach students at an early age how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Students at Tippecanoe Valley High School are extremely involved in student-body activities and pride themselves on hard work, which bodes well for the program that requires a nine-month commitment from its young entrepreneurs.
In that time they brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, register their companies with governmental agencies and actually launch their own company or social movement. Business mentors, graphic designers and local entrepreneurs support the students throughout the program and all of the learning is real and experiential.
“One of the most interesting components of the program is the actual behind the scenes knowledge the students are given from local business leaders, who were at one time, standing in their shoes,” stated Renea Salyer, vice president of member relations at the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce. “The experience is something they will be able to apply to whatever field they choose to enter, thereby giving them the necessary skills to become future leaders of industry.”
“The entire community is really on board with school’s plans to pilot the program in the fall,” adds Jagel, “We are urging all local business leaders to become involved with the program and act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.” By partnering with YEA!, both large and small companies volunteer their time and services acting as business mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, etc. Community support strengthens the program and the academy strengthens the community
Pictured above is this year’s 2014-2015 YEA! Class from Tippecanoe Valley High School: (from left) front row: Jade Vallarin, Mackenzie Ellis, Tenaya Shull, Jaden Biddle, Breanna Conley, Isabel Warren, Tabitha Holloway, and June Yeazel, TVHS YEA! Instructor.
Second row: Renea Salyer, Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce VP Member Relations/YEA! Coordinator, Ashley New, Lillian Egolf, Marissa Phillips, Briley Spurlock, Damion Sainer, Charles Parker, Jacob Lisenby, Micah Bradley, Jade Hoffman, Andrew Tanner, Paige Schoettmer, and Catherine Leadford.
Back row: Austin French, Jeff Shriver TVHS YEA! Instructor, Garrett Paxton, Austin Perdieu, Chase Jones, Aaron Hoffman, Jared Littlejohn, Jordan Fraser, Dillon Davis.
Not Pictured: Travis Harris, Kristina Swick, Aj Long, Deont’ee Smith, Miriam Elbs, Ryan Hodson, Tabitha Baldridge and Michael Thacker.
The YEA! is a groundbreaking and exciting year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements.
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce at 1-574-267-6311.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Partnership
In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. Through coordination with its network of local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber has helped communities across the country adopt the YEA! program. Together, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the power and promise of young people in business and encouraging the next greatest generation to make a job, not just take a job.