YEA! stands for Young Entrepreneurs Academy, but the phrase doesn’t begin to describe the energy, determination, and talent of the individuals who have participated in Arlington’s YEA! program over the past three years. I’ve had the privilege of being one of the instructors for two years and have been blown away by the abilities of these middle and high school students.
While most of this process takes place in the classroom, there are several opportunities for the public to participate. The first is the upcoming CEO Roundtable sponsored by the Crystal City Business Improvement District on February 23 at 1776 in Crystal City, during which the current YEA! class and audience members will hear from a panel of prominent business owners who will share their inspiring start-up stories and answer questions. Another is the YEA! Investor Panel to be held on March 30 at Marymount University, where this year’s class will pitch their businesses to local “sharks” to seek investment capital.
Finally, on May 18, the public can experience the fruit of the YEA! entrepreneurs’ efforts at the trade show where the products and business ideas will be presented at the Ballston BID Farmers’ Market for the public to purchase, discuss, and experience.
Whether you are a business owners yourself, the parent of a budding middle or high school entrepreneur or just someone who will enjoy seeing the future of our county, come to as many of these events as you can! If you do, you will definitely find yourself saying – either silently or out loud – “Yea for YEA! and the YEA! students!”