Program Helps High Schoolers Go Into Business

Paige Janis has an interesting idea on what she finds fashionable. Not a big fan of popular styles, she started making her own clothing to fit her personality. She has even gone as far as to take a few sewing classes and join the American Sewing Guild.

As her interest in sewing together clothes has piqued, so has her interest in business. She has even started her own clothing business called Lilac Shock Clothing, reports Democrat and Chronicle.com.

It’s ambitious for a high school student, but she’s getting some help through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

“At first I had no clue what I needed to do,” says Janis. “This is just giving me a well-structured list of steps to take. I’m finding it really helpful.”

The program runs with the help of volunteer mentors. Business leaders from around the community work one-on-one with the students and also give presentations on various business topics and obstacles.

When all the legwork is done, they present to investor panels (usually comprised of area business leaders) and receive real dollars to get started. Students have received anywhere from $300 to $3,000.

The class in Greece is just one in a network of Young Entrepreneur Academy classes that go on throughout New York state and Illinois. It started with a class at the University of Rochester in 2004. Currently, the Young Entrepreneur Academy organization hosts 22 locations, and hopes to reach 300 high schools and 300 colleges over the next five years.

Photo by Steven Depolo


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