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The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Inc.

Rochester, New York

Cause Description:
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, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand and launch their business! 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 job--not 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. Students learn as much about leadership, problem solving and persistence as they do about planning, budgeting and production. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy was launched at the University of Rochester in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation. YEA! 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. Please help make the program available to students across our nation, to provide our youth with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. YEA!’s entrepreneurship education, leadership development, innovation training, and community engagement assist students to create positive futures. In addition, the program deliberately enhances personal growth of its students, providing tangible application for their academic studies, mentoring opportunities with committed adults, and living examples of local success stories. YEA! Mission: Develop and deliver experience-based entrepreneurship programs to young people to: • Enable them to transition successfully to adulthood; • Help them to pursue their dreams by harnessing their creativity and energy; • Help them transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value for a better world; • Develop the character of tomorrow’s leaders based on personal principles and values; • Enable educational institutions to provide successful and effective entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students; • Create a culture of innovation in schools and communities across the nation; and • Foster the entrepreneurial mindset in young people, educators, and community members. YEA! Vision: To be a leader in establishing innovative, experiential entrepreneurship programs for middle and high school students, delivering these programs through colleges and in high schools throughout the country, in close cooperation with local community and business leaders and their organizations.

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