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Alief High School Entrepreneurs Debut Business

YEA! Student With Josephine FiratAlief Taylor High School students enrolled in Young Entrepreneurs Academy, YEA!, are ready to show off their business start-up skills in a trade show at 12:15 p.m. on April 22. at University of St. Thomas, Crooker Patio, 3909 Graustark.

These 13 students, ages 16 and 17, will debut their newly launched businesses or social movements to consumers, potential clients or investors. Free and open to the public, this event will also give patrons the opportunity to support these students by purchasing products and/or signing up for services offered.

"Back in September, during the first day of class, the students at Alief Taylor High School were just that, students,” said JUST Alumna and YEA! Mentor, Josephine Firat,. “They had regular days, normal teenage life problems, and a report card or progress report to let them know how they were doing.”  

Students involved in YEA! have been groomed by Houston’s business owners and start-up support groups since fall 2013. The trade show is a culmination of the program’s overall goal for the students to become CEOs of their own company or social movement.

YEA! students with their mentors.“Now it's April, and on top of being a student, they own their own businesses, and their days are filled with managing their enterprises and everything that accompanies that process,” said Firat. “They face problems like cash management, inventory, and customers, and their new report cards are their financial statements.  I've seen these students grow leaps and bounds in just these eight months, and when anyone sees them at their trade show at the University of St. Thomas next Tuesday, "teenagers" is the last word they'll use."

Houston Community College and Alief ISD have partnered with YEA!, an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program. YEA! is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur, at an institute of higher education, with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Marion Kauffman Foundation.

For more information about YEA! email Josephine Firat at


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