Applicants sought for Young Entrepreneur Academy

An event has been scheduled for middle and high school students interested in a new program that will teach them how to start and run their own businesses.

The pizza party and application completion event is set for 4 to 6 p.m. June 20 at Western Colorado Community College, 2508 Blichmann Ave. in Grand Junction.

Students age 11 to 18 interested in the Youth Entrepreneur Academy, as well as their parents, are encouraged to attend, ask questions, work on applications or submit completed applications.

The application deadline is June 30, although applications will be accepted only until the 24 slots in the class are filled.

Classes are set to start at Western Colorado Community College this fall for the academy, a program that takes students through the process of launching a business or social movement over the course of an academic year. By the end of the class, students own and operate fully-formed and functioning businesses that they may continue to operate.

The academy is the only pre-college program developed by an entrepreneur at a university with support from a major entrepreneurial foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and United States Chamber of Commerce.

Gabriela Martinez, an eighth grade student at Redlands Middle School, was the first student officially accepted into the  program in Grand Junction.

In her application, Martinez stated she’s looking forward to learning skills that could make her a successful business owner in the future.

But even more than that, she said she wants to make a difference in the community. “The whole idea of this program is very exciting to me.  I am very passionate about childhood obesity and solutions to the growing epidemic in our country. Learning about entrepreneurship will help me to see if I can take my ideas to the next level,” she wrote.