WOW is what I say about YEA! A big thank you to the The Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce for bringing the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) to District 95 for the third year in a row. I am pleased to be the lead instructor for the first trimester of the 2010/2011 class. I am teaching 11 bright students, in grades 6-12, who have signed up to be a part of this groundbreaking program that takes them through the entire process of starting and running real businesses over the course of the full academic year. In this first trimester, we discuss business ideas vs. opportunities, idea generation, the anatomy of a business plan, SWOT analysis, naming your business, strategy and implementation (the four P’s), and business financials, among other topics. The students are doing extensive research on their business ideas and beginning to write their business plan. Their goal is to make a pitch to potential investors in the community, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, and actually launch their own company. The founder and CEO, Gayle Jagel, quoted, “Young people with drive, passion and creativity can accomplish anything. YEA! just helps them see this.” This has been so evident in the absolutely astounding ideas that have come from these students. Quite frankly, much more than I was thinking about when I was in high school.
Coincidently I am reading, “Waiting for Superman” by Karl Weber, which is based on the movie by Davis Guggenheim that discusses the American education system and its shortcomings. The statistics and stories in this book are eye-opening to say the least. But the quote on the front of the book speaks volumes. “The fate of our country won’t be decided on a battlefield, it will be determined in a classroom.” I am embarking on my own journey through the public school system having two children just starting school. This book is a participant guide so it suggests ways that you and I can help to save America’s Failing Public Schools. Teaching YEA! students is, in my opinion, an amazing first step! I welcome your suggestions and comments on ways you have helped foster a higher standard for education in public schools.