LANCASTER – The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative program that transforms local middle school students into real entrepreneurial successes, is coming to Lancaster! Antelope Valley College will pilot the program this fall.
“We are excited about launching this expansion and specifically chose the Antelope Valley College because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Gayle Jagel, the CEO and Founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The program is currently introducing sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.
YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes middle school students 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 on 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. It 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 so thrilled to be the next college in the nation to adopt the Young Entrepreneurs Academy,” said Antelope Valley College President Ed Knudson. “This program will enhance business education of our local middle school students, and provide a unique, challenging, and fulfilling experience for all participants.”
Students at various Lancaster middle schools are already heavily involved in student-body activities and pride themselves on hard work, which bodes well for the program, since it requires a nine-month commitment from its young executives.
In this time, students will brainstorm and form their enterprises, make pitches to real investors, obtain funding, file their DBAs, and by the end, actually launch their own business or social movement!
Business mentors and local entrepreneurs across a variety of industries will support the students throughout the program. All of the learning is real and experiential.
“One of the most interesting components of the YEA! program is the actual ‘behind the scenes’ knowledge that local business leaders are able to share with students,” said Lancaster Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Smith. “This experience is something they will be able to apply to any field they choose to enter, and will provide them with the necessary skills to become future leaders of their industries.
“The entire community is on board with Antelope Valley College’s plans to pilot the program in the fall,” adds Jagel. “We encourage local business leaders to become involved with the program and to act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.” By partnering with YEA!, both large and small businesses can volunteer their time as business mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, and more. Community support strengthens the program, and the academy strengthens the community.
For more information on the program, visit http://www.yeausa.org/ or contact the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce at 661-948-4518.