The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Polk, a chapter of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, is an after-school club for middle and high school students, meeting every Tuesday from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM after-school on the campus of Southeastern University - from October through May.
The direct mission of the Academy is to help students embrace their passion, energy, creativity and talents, and view entrepreneurship as synonymous with success and freedom. The magic is that the Academy teaches kids to believe in themselves, to think big, and to understand that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. In the process, students learn as much about leadership and self-empowerment as they do about planning, budgeting, and production. Students in the Academy discover in themselves confidence, optimism, and capabilities they never knew they had.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a groundbreaking program that takes students through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Academy students, as a class, visit area businesses, meet successful entrepreneurs, meet with professionals (attorneys, accountants, bankers, graphic designers, web developers, insurance providers, etc.), develop a business or social movement idea and plan, and work with mentors. Students then pitch their ideas ?live? to a panel of investors made up of local business and community leaders with real dollars at stake to obtain funding, and take all of the steps necessary to, and then actually launch their venture. Students participating in the Academy learn important life lessons and at the same time gain an appreciation that the skills they are learning in school have significant value in real world applications. Students in the Academy gain self-esteem, confidence and practical experience in working through novel situations and challenges. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses. Students learn to make a job - not just take a job!
For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please visit YEA! Polk and YEA USA.
Please see media about the local Academy here: YEA! Polk Media Dropbox