Alief ISD and HCC welcome Young Entrepreneurs Academy into Taylor High School classrooms

HOUSTON (September 17, 2013) – Houston Community College and Alief ISD have partnered with The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business. HCC is conducting the nine-month program at Alief Taylor High School with 24 students.

“We are so excited to partner with Alief ISD and be the first in Houston to advance high school students’ business education through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Our goal is to provide a unique and challenging experience for all students interested in participating,” said Dr. Maya Durnovo, HCC Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic Development & Entrepreneurial Initiatives.

YEA! is a groundbreaking program that takes students between the ages of 14 and 18 through the process of launching a 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 after their graduation from the program. YEA! is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Gayle 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! launched sites at colleges, universities and high schools across the country.

“We are excited about the expansion and specifically chose to partner with Houston Community College because of its reputation for academic excellence,” said Jagel. “We are urging all local business leaders to become involved with the program and act as mentors to the budding entrepreneurs.”

YEA! students will have the opportunity to visit Trentino Gelato September 18, an artisan gelato company that wholesales to the food service and retail markets. The company’s owner, Marcelo Kriendel will tell his story about an idea that turned into a reality and what it takes to run a small business.

“One of the most interesting components of the program is the behind the scenes knowledge the students are given from local business leaders, who were at one time, standing in their shoes.” explains Dr. Zachary Hodges, HCC Northwest Campus President. “The experience is something they will be able to apply to whatever field they choose to enter, thereby giving them the necessary skills to become future leaders of industry.”

During the course of YEA! business mentors, graphic designers and local entrepreneurs support the students throughout the program and all of the learning is real and experiential.

For more information about YEA! email Josephine Fiat at [email protected].