TACOMA, Wash.- Eight high school students from Pierce County received CEO status on June 4, 2014, at the 2014 Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Commencement at STAR Center, Metro Parks Tacoma, South 66th Street, Tacoma, Wash., 98409.
After months of hard work, this year’s instructors Aaron Donaldson of Cornerstone Advisory Group and Kevin Hayes of Tactical Marketing Group, awarded the class their diplomas, alongside the program’s director, Lynnette Buffington, Membership Outreach Manager + HR, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and assistant program director, Natasha Johnson, Marketing and Membership Outreach Intern, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber.
“This is a very unique program, where kids can actually launch real businesses or social movements”, said Buffington. This year’s enterprises range from Sunny Beginnings, producing fresh, individually-jarred breakfast muffin and oatmeal mixes to Teen Tech Tutors, providing one-on-one technology support services to the community, especially for the elderly or otherwise challenged.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking program that guides students in grades 6-12 through the process of starting a real business, including business plan development, pitching an investor panel, obtaining funding, launching the venture, managing media campaigns, e-commerce and web development, sales events, and trade shows. Students, ages 11 to 18, are taught to recognize the power of their ideas, and to develop the skills necessary to turn those ideas into meaningful enterprises. The following students make up Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s inaugural YEA! class:
• Bellarmine Prep: Gracie Weiss, ninth grade.
• Lincoln High School: Arthur Hagen, twelfth grade; and Cyrus Singleton, twelfth grade.
• Mount Tahoma High School: Jessica Bokoskie, twelfth grade; and Lyric Swanson, twelfth grade.
• Stadium High School: LaMondtra Atkins, eleventh grade; and Sam Wheelock, ninth grade.
• Tacoma School of the Arts: Madison Chavez, eleventh grade.