• Local Community Welcomes YEA! Program to Region

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    August 28, 2015
    Sara Guild, Workforce Dev. Director
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    Monday, August 31, 2015


    DC Everest School District and Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce Invite Young Entrepreneurs Academy Into Classroom

    WESTON – The Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce a partnership with the DC Everest School District to launch the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) starting in the fall of 2015.  YEA! is an innovative program that transforms middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes. A pilot program has been launched at the DC Everest Senior High School as part of its 2015-16 curriculum.  A class of 15 students was selected in May using a comprehensive application and interview process. The Chamber is now seeking sponsors and volunteers from local businesses to help support the students on their journey to becoming entrepreneurs and to sustain this program long-term.
    “I’m so very excited the Chamber has the opportunity to bring the YEA! Program to local students in our community,” said Aaron Kapellusch, President/CEO of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. “Having started a business at a young age myself, I’m passionate about doing whatever we can in the community to support those interested in becoming entrepreneurs at any age. There are a lot of talented young people here with great ideas, and we are thrilled partner with the D.C. Everest District on this pilot program. In the process, we hope to engage many of our members in supporting this program with their time, talents and energy as well as sponsorships.  Our community was founded by, and continues to be fueled by, the entrepreneurial spirit, which makes our region so special.”
    YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes middle and high 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. 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 enthusiastic about the YEA! curriculum, which is an elective credit helping students learn how to make a job, not just take a job,” said DC Everest School District Superintendent Kristine Gilmore. “YEA! provides exceptional year-long classes and real-life experiences for students to not only learn about business in the classroom, but also to directly practice ideas by interacting with the local business community. We are proud to support this new opportunity for advancing the business education of our students.”
    Students at DC Everest Senior High are well-equipped to succeed in this nine-month program, as shown through their dedication in student-body activities and hard work.  While in the Academy, they 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, graphic designers, and local entrepreneurs will be needed to support the students throughout the process and engage them in a real, professional environment.
    “We are excited about launching this expansion and specifically chose the DC Everest School District 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 launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.
    “The entire community is really excited about the school’s plans to promote student involvement,” adds Jagel. “We encourage all 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, etc. Community support greatly strengthens the program, and the academy strengthens the community.
    Details on available volunteer and sponsorship opportunities can be viewed online under the ‘Our Region’ tab at WausauChamber.com or obtained by contacting Sara Guild at the Chamber at sguild@wausauchamber.com or 715-848-5940.

    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in communities across America. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit www.yeausa.org
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness by addressing developments that affect our nation, our economy, and the global business environment.
    The U.S. Chamber Foundation and Campaign for Free Enterprise are national sponsors and partners of YEA!, helping to promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.
    The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Partnership
    In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help promote the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.  Through coordination with its network of local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber has helped communities across the country adopt the YEA! program. Together, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are celebrating the power and promise of young people in business and encouraging the next greatest generation to make a job, not just take a job. 
    Start as a student and finish as a CEO!©
    Sara Guild, Government Affairs & Workforce Development Director
    sguild@wausauchamber.com, (715) 848-5940