Young Entrepreneur Academy is now accepting applications

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Young Entrepreneurs Academy has been going strong in Grand Junction dating back to 2013. Headed by Darcy Weir, the program is geared to students between the ages of 11-18 who are looking to create and launch their own business.

YEA is a 30-week afterschool program and during those weeks, students will be able to create their own business plan, pitch that business plan to a panel of investors to obtain start-up funding and then unveil their business at a trade show.

“I learned quickly how much it takes to start up a business before you ever actually start selling something,” says Dexter Flick, who was in YEA in 2015-2016. “And I also gained a huge appreciation for the importance of planning out your business model and making sure it’s sound.”

YEA offers students the ability to meet and work with prominent business leaders from throughout the community, and offers them networking experience and to witness the ins and outs of the business world.

“I personally learned a great deal about time management, decision making, and networking,” says Reigan Sander, who graduated the program in the spring of 2019. “I would recommend this program greatly.”

And by the end of the program, students will be the CEO of their very own business.

Being a CEO of a business is a dream come true,” says Autumn Henderson, who created an emergency pouch for women and men. “You can make your own rules, you don’t have to listen to anybody, and it gives me the “Big Boss” feeling, which is the best feeling in the world!”

Not all that have gone through the program have continued their business, however, they still see the program being extremely beneficial.

“I’m super glad I did it though," says Flick, who is pursuing his undergraduate at Oklahoma State University. “It personally has been a really good talking point on my resume and it shows potential employers that I have the motivation and ambition to take on something so significant at that age.”

To apply for the program, students must fill out an application, submit a transcript and letter of recommendation, and come in for a brief interview with two members of the Chamber’s CareerLink committee. Applications are due by Monday, September 16 and classes will begin Tuesday, October 15.

To apply, contact Darcy Weir at 970-263-2916, or email her at dweir@gjchamber.org