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Orlando Science Center and Orlando, Inc. to Launch Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Program Launches this Fall at Orlando Science Center

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), Orlando Science Center and Orlando Inc. (Orlando Chamber of Commerce) announce plans to launch the YEA! program this fall.

YEA! is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through 12 through the process of starting and running a real business. Students work closely with local business leaders to cultivate and research business ideas, write a business plan, pitch their plan to a panel of investors (think “Shark Tank” meets “The Apprentice” meets “American Idol”), obtain funding, develop their brand, participate in a trade show at the end of the year, and actually launch their enterprise. Through the YEA! program, kids 11 to 18 years old start as students and graduate as CEOs. They learn to make a job — not just take a job.

“We are so excited to participate in the national movement of making experiential entrepreneurship education available to youth all across our country,” said JoAnn Newman, President & CEO of Orlando Science Center. “We’re happy to be able to support such a life-changing program for young students in our community.”

“The program will not only provide classes and practical work experience with professionals, it will also teach students how to live and breathe as real entrepreneurs,” said Jose Fajardo, Executive Vice President of Orlando, Inc.

“In the nine years we have offered the YEA! program, I have had the pleasure of seeing hundreds of students start their own enterprises that create value, whatever ‘value’ might mean to that particular student,” says Gayle Jagel, the founder and CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

She continued, “It’s amazing to see how powerful it is to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in a young person and watch how the lessons they learn in YEA! translate not only to a successful business career, but a successful transition to adulthood and the makings for a fulfilling, successful life.”

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. with help from the Kauffman Foundation, which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country.


Originally published by Orlando Science Center


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