Local Community Cheers Orlando Science Center and Orlando Chamber of Commerce for its Commitment to Youth and Entrepreneurship

Program Launches this Fall at Orlando Science Center

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 11, 2014) — 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.

ABOUT ORLANDO SCIENCE CENTER

Located in Orlando, Fla., interactive learning and discovery await within the Science Center’s hundreds of exhibits, programs, labs, films and planetarium shows. The Science Center provides educational opportunities both within and outside its walls including field trips, family science nights at schools and community centers, and other outreach.

Orlando Science Center's mission is to inspire science learning for life. The Science Center strives to create lasting impacts on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and develop the next generation of creative innovators. Fully accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Science Center ranks as one of the most popular museum destinations in the region. Having served more than 11 million people since its inception in 1955 and more than 200,000 youth in the past year alone, the Science Center offers rich resources for lifelong learning.

For high resolution photos, logos and more, please visit the following Dropbox link: www.osc.org/mediakit.

ABOUT THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ACADEMY

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, is a groundbreaking educational program that takes students in grades six through twelve through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Students work in close cooperation with local leaders of industry, community members, and educators to develop ideas and objectives, write business plans, pitch potential investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, develop their brand identity and much more! By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses that can be carried on after graduation. Students learn to make a job--not just take a job! YEA!’s direct mission is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, launch a venture, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. In 2008, YEA! "spun-off" from the University of Rochester, where it was formed in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, to create its own not-for-profit corporation, YEA! Inc., which is currently launching sites in colleges, universities and high schools across the country to provide comprehensive, exciting entrepreneurship education, leadership development and innovation training to youth between the ages of 11 and 18 years old in the United States thereby making the program available to students at a variety of geographical regions, and providing them with skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century. For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please call 585.272.3535 or visit www.yeausa.org.

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