Garland ISD, Rowlett Chamber welcomes Young Entrepreneurs Academy

(ROWLETT-April 5, 2013) The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, is an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business. Rowlett Chamber of Commerce by way of the Rowlett Chamber Foundation is excited to announce the start of the YEA! program at Rowlett High School.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of starting and 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! was developed at the University of Rochester with support from The Kauffman Foundation.

“We are excited about the expansion and specifically chose Rowlett High School because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Gayle Jagel, the CEO and founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. In 2008, YEA! “spun-off” from the University of Rochester and currently operates YEA! sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.

“We are so excited to be able to advance the business education of middle and high school students through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Our goal is to eventually provide a unique and challenging experience for all students interested in participating,” said Rowlett Chamber President, Diane Lemmons.

The program 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!” exclaims Jim Grabenhorst, Rowlett’s Economic Development Director. “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.”

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.

For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, call 585.272.3535 or visit Call the local program at 972-475-3200.

Submitted by Louise Brown, Communication Director, Rowlett Chamber of Commerce.

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