September 19, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT:  Caroline Taylor 
Communications Manager
Boy Scouts Can Earn Merit Badges Through the Arlington Chamber's Young Entrepreneurs Academy
ARLINGTON, Va.  The Arlington Chamber of Commerce praised the recently formed partnership between the  Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) and Boy Scouts of America. Through the partnership, Boy Scouts from across the Washington metropolitan area will now be able to earn up to five merit badges through the course of the Arlington Chamber's YEA! program, a 30-week long after-school program that teaches middle and high school students how to open and operate their own business.
2016 YEA! graduate Mark Yates, Jr. presents his business plan to the Investor Panel
"The partnership between YEA! and Boy Scouts of America is a testament to the success and importance of this program in helping young entrepreneurs accomplish their dreams," said Chamber President & CEO Kate Bates. "We hope that with the new merit badge and leadership opportunities, more Boy Scouts across the area will be encouraged to apply."
Since its national launch in 2004, YEA! has graduated more than 6,000 students, who have started more than 4,000 real businesses across the country. In Arlington, YEA! has graduated 26 students who have launched 16 unique  businesses in the last two years.  Our local YEA! graduates include Mark Yates, Jr., a Yorktown High School senior and Boy Scout, who is the Founder/CEO of Kudu Lawn Care LLC. Kudu Lawn Care LLC is a lawn and landscaping company that employs local high school students to provide for Arlingtonians' lawn and landscaping needs.

Interested students should download and fill out an application for the program by the application deadline of September 30. For registration and more information about YEA!, visit the Chamber's webpage, or contact Alex Held at (703) 525-2400 or Classes take place at Marymount University on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. from October 2016 - May 2017.
Visit the Boy Scouts of America's website to view the Merit Badge series for Entrepreneurship, Salesmanship, Inventing, Public Speaking and American Business for details about the badges that can be earned.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is made possible thanks to our sponsors , including:
Premier Partner - Beach Geeks 
Innovation Sponsor -  Graham Holdings Company
University Partner - Marymount University

The Arlington Chamber's Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an after-school program held in partnership with Marymount University that transforms middle and high school students into confident entrepreneurs. Throughout the academic year, students will work closely with local business leaders, community leaders, and educators who use their personal experience to demonstrate how to develop business ideas and objectives, write a business plan, pitch to investors for start-up funds, register with governmental agencies, establish e-commerce and a web presence, and more. By the end of the curriculum, students own and operate fully-formed businesses, which may be continued after graduation from the program.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy national program was founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation and today serves thousands of students in communities across America. 

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Founded in 1924, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce is a member-centric, volunteer-based, non-profit organization of approximately 700 businesses committed to the economic and civic well-being of the community. For more information or to become a member, visit the Chamber's website.

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