Pages Navigation Menu

Student Success Stories

Students_picStudents in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy have achieved some pretty remarkable things. Below, take a look at just a few of our many student success stories.

Watch Conner Christian, a YEA! Winner with his invention: Rubber Boot Buddy

More YEA! success stories:

Eric Meyer – Spotlight Video Productions & Young Scholar Adventures

Through the year-long course, students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy learn to transform their passions into real businesses. Eric Meyer launched Spotlight Video Productions through the program and transformed his passion for filmmaking into a business that generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. As a sophomore in high school, Eric graduated as the CEO of his own company, producing wedding videos, corporate productions, and even traveling around the world to produce resort promotional videos.

A few months after graduating from the Academy, Eric formed a second business that launches and manages youth academic day camps across the Northeast United States. In 2010, Meyer employed 16 people across three states.

“The skills, confidence, and experience I developed in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy enabled me to launch, run, and grow two businesses for seven years,” says Eric. “I couldn’t imagine being where I am today without YEA!

Elishia Ortiz – Young & Fit Forever

Elishia is passionate about exercise and fitness, and is also a strong advocate of preventing childhood obesity. Through the Academy, Elishia combined her interests and launched Young & Fit Forever, an educational exercise company geared towards elementary level students. Through developing, marketing and selling a professional DVD featuring exercise videos and healthy eating recipes for kids, as well as creating local exercise classes, Elishia generated revenue while also helping to battle childhood obesity

By the time Elishia graduated the Academy, her products were under contract to be sold at 13 Wegmans Food Market locations in the Northeast United States.

“YEA! showed me that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, even at a young age,” says Ortiz. “The program has also opened so many doors for me that would not have been possible without the Academy.”

Ani Patel – Intel4India

Ani enacted social change in India. As a seventh grade student in the Academy, Ani had just recently come back from a trip to India with his family. He was struck by the inequity of education in rural India versus urban India. Students in rural India rarely studied English beyond the 7th grade, which put them at a disadvantage when they were in the market for a job. Ani’s solution was simple; hire a teacher in a large city in India who speaks fluent English and set them up with a webcam and a fax machine. “Learning centers” were created in rural villages, equipped with a laptop and a fax machine. Students attend classes for 25 cents a month. More than 100 students enrolled in Intel4India’s first year. In 2009, Ani began his sophomore year in high school and had over 500 students enrolled in Intel4India. He plans to create additional learning centers across rural India. Ani and his accomplishments were featured in Success Magazine, Newsweek and Genesee Valley Parent Magazine.

Katie & Christina Lantuh

Katie & Christina graduated from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in 2007 after starting a jewelry business called Beadnik. The two sisters sold do-it-yourself beading kits and pre-made jewelry as well as hosting birthday parties that were all about beads for girls of all ages! Before the program, the sisters both knew very little about what it took to launch an idea or business. YEA! ignited the entrepreneurial spirit in them and they quickly caught the business bug.

Christina went on a couple years later to use the skills she mastered in the program to create a social movement called Kicks for Kids. By exciting the local community and school districts, Christina sent 400 pounds of shoes to orphanages in the Dominican Republic and garnered partnerships with Loews and JetBlue Airways. Thanks to Christina’s efforts, boys in the Dominican orphanages now have a shoe supply to last nearly 15 years.

“Throughout the YEA! program I learned not only the necessary skills to turn an idea into a reality, but I gained confidence, learned the importance of discovering my passions, and became inspired to create positive change,” says Katie, who is currently pursuing her master’s degree in urban education reform.

Click here to read more Success Stories.

Click here to read about Jason Shanley, the 2011 Saunders Scholars Winner.