Students in the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Wanted: Ahwatukee adults who care about children and education within their community.

The Ahwatukee Chamber Community Foundation needs you whether or not you are a Chamber of Commerce member.

Founded in 2011, the organization aims to “inspire the next generation of local entrepreneurs to become leaders in the Ahwatukee community,” board chair and Ahwatukee Realtor Christie Ellis said.

Ellis noted the organization’s motto of “Building Community, Building Ahwatukee,” and said it reflects a vision “to develop, fund and provide resources to the people of Ahwatukee by way of its events and activities, scholarships and a future Entrepreneurial Institute.”

Interested residents and business owners are invited to a meeting at 5:30 p.m. March 2 at the First American Title Company Training Room, 4435 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee. At the meeting, Ellis will discuss the foundation and hope to enlist people interested in serving as board members or in other roles.

“This meeting is for both chamber and non-chamber members,” Ellis said. “The Ahwatukee Chamber Community Foundation is looking for dedicated, community-passionate individuals, and organizations, who want to help provide outreach for children and education within our community.”

The foundation’s primary activity right now is the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, commonly called YEA!

It provides weekly workshops for young people who want to start a business. The current class has 11 youngsters ranging in age from sixth grade to high school senior.

They will be developing plans and ultimately going before a group of local business owners to persuade them to invest in their ideas.

The goal of YEA! is to teach young people how to create their own American Dream,” Ellis said.

Ellis said the foundation wants to provide “activities and events encompassing a wide area of interest with the goal to make the lives of the residents of Ahwatukee well-rounded.

“These broad-based activities are intended to assist in the areas of community interest and may include training and educating the public on matters of finance and business, science and technology, as well as area economic planning and development,” she added.

Ultimately, she added, the foundation hopes to “increase the desirability of the community in which our businesses are located and where the employees and families of these businesses work, live and play.”

She said the board will provide “guidance and expert advice” and that members will be expected to “volunteer their time to attend meetings, fundraisers, and other events that further the goals of the foundation and expand the organization’s community-based programs.”

The foundation was founded as a nonprofit by the chamber “as an additional component focusing on civic, social and educational programs and projects for the community.”

People who cannot attend the meeting but still want to join the foundation can call 480-201-3575.

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