Local Community Cheers YEA! For Entrepreneurship
Medina City Schools and The Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Young Entrepreneurs Academy into Classrooms
Medina, Ohio, July 27, 2011–The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, is an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business, is excited to announce plans for the program to be introduced in the Medina High School, in the Fall of 2011.
YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students between the ages of 14 and 18 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 at teaching 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 Kauffman Foundation and the United States Chamber of Commerce.
“We are excited about the expansion and specifically chose theMedina City Schools because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Gayle Jagel, the CEO and founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Jagel developed the YEA! program in 2004, while serving as the Director of the Office of Special Programs at the University of Rochester. In 2008, YEA! “spun-off” from the University to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.
“We are pleased to be one of the first school districts in the nation to advance our students business education through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Our goal is to eventually provide a unique and challenging experience for all students interested in participating,” said Randy, Stepp, Medina City Schools Superintendent.
Students at MHS 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 executives. In that time they brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to potential 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!” Debra Lynn-Schmitz, President of the Greater Medina 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.”
“Within minutes of learning about the YEA program, I knew this was something we needed to get involved with. This is exactly the program I wish I could have participated in Medina High School” said Chad Wilson, Medina Chamber of Commerce Board Member and entrepreneur.
The success of YEA! will be largely based on the support from local businesses through sponsorships to fund the cost of the program and serving as volunteers. "As the largest employer in Medina County, Westfield Insurance has a genuine interest in developing our next generation of workers," says Jani Davis, executive director of Westfield Insurance Foundation. "Westfield has been supporting innovative learning opportunities for many years, and we saw YEA! as a chance for private businesses to partner with schools in a time when some other classes and programs are being eliminated."
“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.” The school does not have any expenses associated with the program. By partnering with YEA!, both large and small companies/businesses 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
About the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!?, is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more! By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a jobnot just take a job! YEA!’s? direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. In 2008, YEA!? “spun-off” from the University of Rochester, where it was formed in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country to provide comprehensive, exciting entrepreneurship education, leadership development and innovation training to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years old in the United States thereby making the program available to students at a variety of geographical regions, and providing them with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit www.yeausa.org
Begin as a student and finish as a CEO!©
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