Watson B. Duncan Middle School, in Palm Beach Gardens, has a Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) on campus which is a ground breaking year long program sponsored by the North Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce that literally transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial success stories through an exciting projects-based approach. By learning about the exciting possibilities associated with entrepreneurship and actually launching a real small business, young people from diverse communities all across the country are being empowered to take charge of their futures in a bold new way.
YEA! participants engaged in 30 weeks of college course work, were mentored by successful entrepreneurs, and created a business plan for a real business. After making presentations to the panel of investors, DMS students were awarded seed money to start their own businesses. Eighth grade Pre-Academy of Finance students received capital for startup in varying amounts. Adam Brower, for “Pet Buddy” received $500. Natalee Castillo, Morgan Dicocco and Natalie Schlueter, for “uCan”, an online school guidance tool, received $500. Abdullah Ali, for “Spic and Spackle”, a convenient spackling pen, received $1,450. Ryan Holzhausen with “Bed Head Tamer”, a spray bottle/brush combo, received $1,700 and was selected as an alternate to attend a prestigious trade show next month. Impressively, 7th grader Justin Sabaj was awarded $500 for “Polish Brush Clean” a small scrubbing tool that simultaneously deposits a cleaning solution for easier maintenance of boats and cars.
“Most exciting is that each student will leave the YEA! program with their own operational business and a whole new understanding of how the business world works,” said Assistant Principal Kate Wynn. “Congratulations to Watson B. Duncan Middle School’s YEA! participants.”
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kaufmann Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in 168 communities across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is not only a wonderful tool to teach students about business, but also a great way to build confident leaders with values. An excellent instrument to unify the business and educational communities, YEA! continues to expand across the country to fulfill our mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office, Mar. 2014