By greendalechamber, Apr 8 2015 11:39PM
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), announced March 25th that Greendale High School will pilot
the first YEA! program in southeastern Wisconsin beginning in fall 2015. YEA! is an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes.
YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes students between the ages of 11 and 18 through the process of planning 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 excited about launching this expansion and specifically chose Greendale 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. The program is currently introducing sites in colleges, universities, and high schools across the country. YEA! Greendale is a collaboration of the school districts of Greendale, Greenfield, and Whitnall.
"We are so thrilled to be the next school district in the nation to adopt the Young Entrepreneurs Academy," said John Tharp, Ed.D, superintendent of Greendale Schools. "This program will enhance business education for our students, and provide a unique, challenging, and fulfilling experience for all participants."
During the nine-month YEA! program, 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 Tharp, who also serves as the secretary of the Greendale Chamber of Commerce. "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 YEA! Greendale'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.