Release Date: May 22, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS
Young Entrepreneurs Academy Scholarship Winners Attend U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Summit
WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced the two national winners of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) Saunders scholarship program, Rebecca Zerbo from Boca Raton, Florida and Ryan Schnaufer from Rochester, New York. As part of their prize, both winners are attending America’s Small Business Summit 2012: Standing Up for American Enterprise, hosted by the U.S. Chamber, and taking place this week in Washington, D.C.
“The U.S. Chamber is proud to be partnering with local chambers across the country on the YEA! Program,” said Margaret Spellings, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Forum for Policy Innovation. “By challenging students’ entrepreneurial curiosity and empowering them to believe starting their own business is possible, we can encourage the next generation of job creators.”
The YEA program, made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Chamber, is poised to grow. Through coordination with its network of local chambers of commerce, the U.S. Chamber’s grant program has resulted in an expansion of YEA! into more than a dozen new regions.
The YEA program helps foster the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s youth and encourages business ownership as a viable career path. YEA offers students in grades six through twelve the opportunity to experience the process of starting and running a legally-registered and fully-formed business over the course of a full academic year. The program was launched in 2004, resulting in more than 100 businesses to date, over half of which students have continued after graduation.
Rebecca Zerbo was nominated by the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Her company, Positive Pocket, sells inspirational cards to help stop bullying. Ryan Schnaufer, nominated by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, created an ipad app company called Quiz Kid that allows the user to create custom flash cards.
The two winners are attending the U.S. Chamber’s annual event, which brings together more than 700 small business owners from across the country for management advice, policy insight, and networking. The students will learn strategies to help them grow their businesses and hear from featured speakers like FedEx CEO Fred Smith, political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville, and former McDonald’s CEO and current entrepreneur Ed Rensi.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.