Young Entrepreneurs 2016

YEA! students pictured from left: Megan Hansen, CEO Chemo Cuddlers; Adrineh Stephenson, CEO Audre; Sarah Sherrer, CEO Amy’s Rescue Foundation; Caleb Soelberg, CEO Allergen Safe Foods; Dante Romano, CEO My Fit Fam; Adrian Quinones, CEO The Big Dippers; and Alanzo Orozco, CEO Tree Society Clothing.

For our community and our country to prosper, the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is aware that developing the entrepreneurial spirit in our young people is critical.  A 21st Century education and skills to match – as well as innovation and business creation – are the keys to the success of the U.S. economy.

So, nothing could be more important than instilling the entrepreneurial mindset in our youth.

I know that many of you work every day to create jobs, drive our economy and give back to improve the community in which we live.  I know that all of you also take an active interest in the lives of young people in our community.

Because their success is vital to our success as a people, the chamber has a program that allows us to work together to teach students in our community real-world skills.  

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a ground-breaking program that takes students through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year.  YEA! students, as a class, visit area businesses, meet successful entrepreneurs, meet with professionals, develop a business or social movement idea and plan and work with mentors.  

Students then pitch their ideas “live” to a panel of investors made up of local business and community leaders with real dollars at stake to obtain funding.

They take and implement all the steps necessary to launch their venture.

Community support strengthens the program, and the academy strengthens the community.  

Students participating in the YEA! program learn important life lessons and at the same time gain an appreciation that the skills they are learning in school have significant value in “real world” applications.  YEA! students gain self-esteem, confidence and practical experience in working through novel situations and challenges.  

By the end of the class, students own and operate fully functioning businesses. Students learn to make a job – not just take a job!

The Ahwatukee Chamber is requesting you to support this initiative as a sponsor at a donation level that works for you and/or your organization.  

These sponsorships range from our Presenting Sponsor of $5,000 to a Scholarship Partner of $500, with multiple levels in between.  This donation will go to offset costs associated with the running of the program, or for tuition scholarships for talented and interested students who otherwise may not be able to attend.

I hope that this is something that you are excited about and interested in moving forward on together. I can be reached at 480-753-7676 or and look forward to talking with you further regarding this valuable opportunity.

-Lindy Lutz Cash is President/CEO of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce



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