September 26, 2014
MEDIA: Lisa Shapiro, Communications Manager 703-525-2400 ext. 203

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into entrepreneurs. YEA! is a national program that started in 2004 at the University of Rochester, through support from the Kaufmann Foundation, and has since grown to 95 successful affiliate program locations. 

YEA! is a cutting-edge program that takes students through the process of starting and launching a real business or social movement. The class (comprised of 24 students ages 11-18) meets after school one day a week for five months.  Classes will be held at Marymount University from January - May 2015. Through the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed businesses. 

"We are excited about launching this expansion and specifically chose the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and University Partner Marymount University because of its reputation for academic excellence," said Gayle Jagel, the CEO and Founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. 

"We are thrilled to partner with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce to bring the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to Arlington," said Dr. Shank, President of Marymount University. "This program will enhance business education for Arlington students, and provide a unique, challenging, and fulfilling experience for all participants."    

YEA! is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at a university, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Kauffman Foundation and the United States Chamber of Commerce.  By partnering with YEA!, both large and small businesses can volunteer their time as business mentors, field trip hosts, guest lecturers, graphic designers, web developers, attorneys, and more. 

"We are very excited about this program, which I believe will help our Chamber meet the evolving needs of the business community.  YEA! will position us as a partner for startup businesses and help us engage that growing sector of the Arlington business community.  The program offers numerous opportunities for our members to engage with the students and share their experience and talents with these budding entrepreneurs.  It also opens the door for the Chamber to enhance our organizational partnerships and further our collaboration with Arlington County," said Kate Roche, President & CEO of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, please visit the Arlington Chamber YEA! website!.aspx or call (703) 525-2400.


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