September 27, 2018:  

Cracking the Girl Code
Young Entrepreneurs Academy alumni Lilia Becker's latest project is influencing young women to break into one of the most woman discriminatory professions - STEM.

After taking a male dominated coding class, Becker recognized that her classroom sample was symbolic of the overall world of STEM. " About 88% of all information technology patents are invented by male-only invention teams while only 2% are invented by female-only invention teams. Statistics imply that the technology we use around the world is predominantly being created by men," states Becker on her website.

Lilia Becker is currently a junior at Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania who uses her spare time to teach young women to code. Becker went through the YEA! program five years ago and has used those skills to begin her newest venture, CodeWithLilia. Her website offers basic definitions about computer science and coding, tutorials to spark interest and opportunities to take action and get involved in bridging the gender gap. Becker has several tutorials posted about using programs like JavaScript, HTML, block coding and Python.

When her persp ective isn't shaking up the traditional ideas of STEM, she is altering the way students are taught in the classroom. Becker sees coding as building a different set of skills than that of a traditional classroom setting.  "In school, you don't have as much room to make mistakes or errors and keep on trying again," she says. "If you get a D on a test, you got a D on the test, and there's nothing really to say about that. It's just kind of over. But when you're coding, you're not going to get it right the first time. There's always bugs. It teaches you more about determination, more like the real world." Lilia is truly using the determination she has found from coding and applying it to real life, identifying one problem after another and never backing down.

Ellen Fisher, Program Manager of the YEA!'s Philadelphia chapter, has been impressed by Becker since day one. "We adults can often learn from our students, and she was one of those students," says Fisher. "If you gave her a roadblock, she would just tap tap tap on the computer really fast and say, 'Oh, what about this?' She would always come back with another way of looking at something," Fisher shared.

Fisher also praises Becker's teaching ability, as she has returned to teach at her local YEA! program. Having been on the YEA! Alumni Council before, Becker was a natural for the role of sharing her wisdom. She not only wants to share her enthusiasm for tech, but to grow it as well. Becker is looking to build a larger community of tech driven female leaders. "I want a world where girls are given the tools and education they need to help build a computer science community for everyone. Girls can code too and I want to help spread the word."

 Lilia Becker continuing to teach students about code through her YEA! Business, CodeWithLilia

Check out  CodeWithLilia!
Learn to code click  here!
To become a leader click  here!

The Entrepreneur Girl Power That Started It All

Entrepreneur Magazine recently  interviewed YEA!'s founder and CEO, Gayle Jagel about her inspiration to start the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Through the interview Gayle had the opportunity to share a little advice about influencing young women.
Jagel is a business woman, entrepreneur, but most importantly a mother. When her daughter, Meredith, became interested in starting a business in dog walking and washing, Jagel looked for resources to help her daughter begin her own operation. Rather than take the lemonade stand approach, Jagel wanted to educate Meredith about how a business truly runs and how to be successful. She was disappointed to find that there were no materials to educate children about realistically running a business.
Sticking to her guns, Jagel worked one on one with her daughter to ensure that her goals were in order and to craft a business plan. "What was interesting to me is, she really understood the concepts like an adult. I was presenting them in a kid-friendly way, and that really struck me," Jagel said. This is how Barks & Bubbles got its start. Shortly after, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) was born at the University of Rochester in 2004.
YEA! has grown into a national program and overseas into India and Shanghai. We are proud that 49% of U.S. students are female, and so are 42% of the enrollees in India. In recent years and even more recent months and weeks, women have been making media headlines for a number of reasons. It has been inspiring to see women being represented more than ever, proving that the glass ceiling is never out of reach.
"Be bold and be specific," Jagel advises, regarding parents influencing their daughters. "It's important to describe the 'why' -- that you are a female leader and what are the positive aspects of that," Jagel added. 

To read Entrepreneur Magazine's article featuring Gayle, click here! 

Gayle Jagel, Founder and CEO of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
Sisters Gain Recognition from Local News About Their Businesses

Aarya and Ayesha Patel are sisters in their senior and sophomore years at Brighton High School. Aarya went through the YEA! program hosted by the University of Rochester in 2012 when she was in 7th grade. Ayesha graduated from the YEA! program held at the University of Rochester in 2016. Since graduating, both have gone on to continue their business, or in Ayesha's case, begin an entirely new one as well.

Aarya's company, 4Ever Dry Waterproof Socks was created to solve a problem of her own. An athlete at the time, Aarya found that after a long day of school, then practice or games outdoors, or day long tournaments, her feet were always wet.

Through YEA! she was able to attain the resources to create her 4Ever Dry Socks, that wick away moisture from the skin, are thinner than other waterproof socks and are breathable and comfortable for the wearer. Aarya's business is still going strong 5 years later and she has now expanded to a second product in her repertoire. Her product is currently being sold online and in 5 stores in her community.

"I felt that the amount of individualized attention that YEA! gave me was remarkable." Aarya told FOX Rochester, "I had a mentor who really helped me go through the business plan process and helped me prepare to pitch to investors to get real funding. The attention I got to help me make a business plan and meet real CEOs in the community and lawyers, accountants, so many people I kept connected with after YEA! to help me continue this business was amazing."

Ayesha is no stranger to having multiple business ventures. Her initial work in the YEA! program was with a group working on a metronome for musicians that vibrated as opposed to ticking. Ayesha had an equally as wonderful experience in the YEA! program, telling the news "I loved meeting like-minded people and working together to develop business plans."

Sticking to her interests in tech, Ayesha launched her second venture, Teenology Tech Help. Teenology is a service Ayesha provides by assisting people with their technology products. She offers set up with new devices, fixing problems, changing settings or photograph editing on a wide array of products. She tends to focus on helping the elderly or less tech savvy with their products to help keep them connected with their loved ones. Ayesha makes house calls and also offers hours at the library on weekends to provide tech support.

"The YEA! program taught me so many life skills like public speaking and marketing and just confidence. It was really important for me to start a business" recalls Ayesha. Her sister agrees, "Just the life skills you learn, confidence, leadership, time management, it goes beyond business, you can apply it to any field."

Click here to check out Aarya's 4Ever Dry Waterproof Socks!

Click here to look into Ayesha's Teenology Tech Help!

Aarya and Ayesha Patel discussing their businesses with YEA!'s Rachel DeVinney and WHEC Rochester
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