Three college students from Ascension Parish Public Schools have been enrolled in a competitive program often known as the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge, or YEA BR.
Miah Brown, a senior at St. Amant High School; Lilian Tepper, a junior at Dutchtown High School; and Jayla Walker, a senior at Donaldsonville High School were chosen from a pool of candidates within the higher Baton Rouge space.
YEA BR was launched somewhat over five years in the past by Founder and Chair Deborah Sternberg, who was born and raised in Baton Rouge.
“Now that we’re in yr 5, we’ve had over one hundred students undergo this program,” Sternberg mentioned. “And with the current class launching 19 corporations, eighty five startups will have launched with the Secretary of State’s Office by subsequent April.”
Students collaborating in YEA BR might differ of their individual passions and objectives, but all of them share one common curiosity –– starting a business.
“We’re on the lookout for students who’ve curiosity and progressive pondering,” Sternberg said. “They don’t necessarily need to have a business idea when they apply, however they know that through the educational 12 months they are going to be not solely launching a startup however filing it with the Secretary of State’s workplace and pitching it for precise seed funding at a ‘Shark Tank’-like group pitch that we have.”
The program follows a nationwide curriculum, which is broken up into trimesters. For the primary nine weeks, they work with the teacher who’s an entrepreneur at LSU. It’s referred to as “The Big Idea” –– determining what business they are excited about launching and matching their pursuits to an issue they see in the community and arising with that business thought.
The students are currently within the second nine weeks. They are being paired with knowledgeable graphic designer from the community who works with them on a model for their startup. Each enterprise can also be paired up with enterprise mentors and monetary mentors, who work with them over six class intervals to fine-tune and flesh out an precise business plan.
“Part of it is the mentoring course of,” Executive Director Bethany Robicheaux said. “We match mentors as much as we are able to who might have expertise in these areas to guide them within the course of, which is really particular past this.”
“Once the business plans are done initially of February, we’re gearing up with presentation skills and public talking alternatives so that the students are able to pitch in entrance of a couple hundred individuals on the group pitch on March eight,” Sternberg said.
They work on slide decks and their presentation for several weeks. Every week they get a visitor speaker to show them about issues like taxes, intellectual property, public speaking and banking. They’re basically building a foundation in enterprise fundamentals that they can use for the remainder of their lives.
“It actually units them aside,” Sternberg mentioned. “Not everybody will in the end be an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur myself, it’s very exhausting. If you go through this program and ultimately decide that starting and launching and persevering with a business is not for me, that’s completely fantastic. They are going to be wonderful employees because they understand the fundamentals of a enterprise –– why the proprietor of the enterprise will ask for a advertising budget, what a PNL is, the importance of gratitude and curiosity, having the power to stand on their very own two toes and converse for themselves in a polite and sensible means –– so, they’re a huge asset to firms, as well.”
When they graduate in April, college students not solely get a certificate in entrepreneurship, but they’re also certified for three credit from LSU’s enterprise faculty if they resolve to attend faculty there.
“We’re not solely a year-long program, however there are alternatives after they graduate to engage with the audio system and other opportunities as graduates of YEA,” Sternberg said. “We’re building a pipeline of businesspeople in Louisiana.”
ASCENSION’S STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS
It’s essential to not give away everything concerning the companies that the three Ascension students are starting as a result of they may make a detailed pitch on the finish of the session. Here is a high-level overview:
• Miah Brown of St. Amant High School is in a partnership with another student. They are creating a new kind of merchandising machine. Part of their focus is on comfort. “YEA BR has been an excellent instructional experience. It has taught me how companies are developed from conception to launch. I am engaged on a product to assist make school life safer and more convenient,” Brown stated. “One great aspect of the program is that you could build your small business alone or in partnership. I am working in a partnership, and my associate and I are excited about this new enterprise’s prospects.”
• Lilian Tepper of Dutchtown High School is working on an app to convey together those who have special needs with other college students for playdates. It may characteristic a roundup of sensory-sensitive occasions. “Through my Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge journey, I really have discovered so many classes to use in a enterprise setting and socially. For instance, I am learning the method to be handiest in getting a degree throughout and how to strategy enterprise finances – things I had not thought of before. I have made new associates and gotten concerned in addressing the needs of the neighborhood around me. The issues I saw as most vital are the issues between children with particular wants and their involvement in the neighborhood. My enterprise aim is to bridge that hole and inform families of opportunities round them,” mentioned Tepper. “I am very grateful for the power to partake in such a company that offers me the prospect to get help from some wonderful people. I look forward to sharing my progress and cannot anticipate what the longer term holds for my business.”
• Jayla Walker of Donaldsonville High School is creating and launching a new hair product. This has a chemistry component. “Being part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge has truly been a tremendous experience over the past few months. Participating in the Academy has taught me the ins and outs of creating and managing a profitable business. The best part has been learning to take a talent I really have and turn it into a worthwhile enterprise. I am looking forward to launching my business using the wealth of data I have realized from this program,” Walker stated.
“These college students are nice examples of seeing a necessity locally and being artistic in their pondering,” Sternberg said.
Seventeen students have been accepted from the public faculty system in Ascension Parish over the five years of the academy.
“It’s tremendous,” Sternberg stated. “We are thrilled with our partnership and want to proceed constructing with the public colleges in Ascension. It’s actually superb the transformation of a pupil who’s hesitant to speak in entrance of 20 people at the beginning of orientation, to turn out to be in a place to stand up and pitch and reply questions on the fly in front of 200 folks in March.”
YEA BR is open to eighth- via 12th-grade students in the nine-parish Greater Baton Rouge Area. Students from public, personal, charter, and homeschooled apply for the academy. Classes are held from 5 to eight p.m. each Wednesday at the LSU Business Education Complex on the College of Business at LSU.
One of crucial things for an applicant is that they’re able to stay dedicated, since they spend about a hundred hours on prime of excessive school engaged in the program.
The utility period for subsequent 12 months is open now, and the applying deadline is in August. For extra information and to apply, go to
Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cowl Ascension Parish and the larger Baton Rouge area. Follow atfacebook.com/WeeklyCitizenandfacebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.