Student CEOs graduate from YEA!

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Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Twenty-two students in grades 6 to 12 graduated from the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy June 10. A formal ceremony was held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Maize and Blue Room.

DEARBORN – Twenty-two middle and high school students from Wayne County received CEO status on June 10 at the 2014 Dearborn Area Chamber Young Entrepreneurs Academy Commencement.

After months of hard work DACC President, Jackie Lovejoy awarded the class their diplomas, alongside the program’s director, Wendy Fichter.

“This is a very unique program, where kids can actually launch real businesses or social movements”, said Peggy Richard of DFCU, program instructor. This year’s enterprises range from retail businesses to online businesses to social enterprises.

YEA! is a groundbreaking nine-month program that guides students in grades 6 to 12 through the process of starting a real business, including business plan development, pitching an investor panel, obtaining funding, launching the venture, managing media campaigns, e-commerce and web development, sales events, and trade shows. Students, ages 11 to 18, are taught to recognize the power of their ideas, and to develop the skills necessary to turn those ideas into meaningful enterprises. The students who made up this year’s YEA! class are:

Middle School Students:
• Bryant Middle School: Aaron Szostek, sixth grade; Amelia Tennent, seventh grade, and Alexandria Williams, eighth grade.

• St. Clair Shores Jefferson Middle School: Caleb Laster, seventh grade.

• Detroit West Prep Academy: Marcedes-Antoniya Preston, seventh grade.

High School Students:
• Annapolis High School: Carrington Bell, ninth grade.

• Dearborn High: Zeinab Alhassan, Demetrius Harmon and Yasmeen Wooten, 10th grade; Sarah Awad, Ahmad Khan, Ali Nasrallah, Aleks Oslapa and Victoria Williams, 11th grade; David Bermudez and Adnan Rammouni, 12th grade.

• Divine Child: Stephen Lietz, 11th grade.

• Fordson High School: Rima Smadi, ninth grade; Cham Smadi, 11th grade.

• Detroit Renaissance High School: Nicholas Blakey, ninth grade.

• Southfield Christian: Maya Lyght, ninth grade.