Young Entrepreneurs Academy promoting business, life skills for students

Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) holds its information session for students in grades 6-12 on Sept. 1 at Clovis Community College-Herndon Campus. [Paul Schlesinger/Clovis Roundup]

YEA! Main logoBy Paul Schlesinger | Reporter

The Clovis Chamber of Commerce hosted an information session on Sept. 2 at Clovis Community College’s Herndon Campus for students and their families interested in joining a program that helps students create their own business.

Attendees were able to learn about the structure, curriculum and student application process for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), a 30-week program that turns students into CEOs, allowing them to not just create their own business or social movement, but to also run it.

Mayra Stone, program manager for YEA! in Clovis, said students in grades 6-12 are guided through the process of creating and implementing a business plan, while also learning life skills such as leadership, team building and public speaking.

Throughout the program, students develop business ideas, write business plans and conduct market research. Eventually, they will pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds and launch and run their own company or social movement.  

Students are also able to showcase their business idea to a wider audience as they’ll have the opportunity compete regionally and nationally with other YEA! programs.

Kelsey Ewing, a Buchanan High School student who was with the program in its inaugural year in Clovis in 2014, created K-Bear Cares through YEA! that helps to raise money to various organizations.

Ewing takes used stuffed animals and refurbishes and sanitizes them while dressing them up and I giving them a back story.

She markets the stuffed animals to children and the proceeds would be divided up in a percentage to organizations like Valley Children’s Hospital.

Ewing said it was a wonderful experience going through YEA! and creating K-Bear Cares. She said teachers in the program do all they can to help students create their business.

“They really care about all the students who come in here. They want us to succeed and they do everything they can to help us,” Ewing said.

Ewing recommended students to join the program if “you are willing to put in the time and the effort, wanting to create this business and have this idea and see it succeed and flourish.”

“I would most definitely say join this program because I think it’s the best opportunity for children like high school aged or junior high age to start a business on their own because it’s not easy thing to do nowadays,” Ewing added.

The 2016-17 YEA! program begins October and runs through May 2017. The application deadline is Sept. 30. An application packet can be found at