What is YEA?
Started at the University of Rochester in 2004 with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA is now in 168 communities across America with classes also in Shanghai, China and India. More than 4,000 students nationwide have launched over 3,000 businesses and social movements. This will be the eighth year that Mohawk Valley Community College has hosted it in the greater Utica area and applications are now open for the upcoming class.
Who can apply?
Students from all local school districts are encouraged to apply and educators are invited to nominate students they believe will excel in the program. Full and partial scholarships are available to qualifying students.
The class is open to students in grades 6-12 (ages 11 to 18) from any local school district and class size is limited.
When are classes?
Classes are held on Wednesday evenings from October 16, 2019 - May 13, 2020 from 4:30-7:30pm at Mohawk Valley Community College's Utica campus, with no classes held during school breaks.
What is the class like?
During the class, students:
- Learn how to create a business they are passionate about
- Complete market research and develop a business plan
- Work one-on-one with business mentors and graphic designers
- Attend field trips to learn from local entrepreneurs
- Pitch their ideas at a "Shark Tank-style" investor panel presentation to win real start-up funds
- Legally register their business as a DBA
- Take part in a trade show
- Graduate from the program with lifelong leadership and business skills
One student from the program is chosen to represent our class at the Saunders Scholars national competition at RIT and will compete against students from all over the country!
APPLICATIONS DUE OCTOBER 4, 2019
Student will need to complete
- The application
- Answer three short answer questions
- Write a short, 300-word essay
- Get one letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor
- Get a copy of your academic transcript
- Complete an in-person interview with us
Acceptance into the program is based on all aspects of the completed application as well as the personal interview. Prior business experience is not required, nor is it required to have a business idea prior to the start of class.
- Application deadline: October 4, 2019
- Parent/Student Orientation: Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 5:30pm at MVCC
- First Class: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
- Investor Panel: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
- Trade Show and Graduation: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
- National Saunders Scholars Competition in Rochester, NY: April 29 – May 2, 2020
Thank you to our 2019-2020 program partners:
- M&T Bank/Partners Trust Bank Charitable Fund
- Berkshire Bank
YEA! USA is made possible by the Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. We also thank our national supporters - Sam's Club and Southwest Airlines.