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YEA! is Underway! Welcome to the 2016-17 Class

November 1st, 2016 by Amanda Huggett

Last month we told you about our recruiting efforts in area schools and the warm welcome our Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program coordinator, Katie Ralston, received from school administrators, teachers, counselors and students. This month, we can’t believe we are announcing that we have a FULL class! YEA!, Inc. sets a maximum class size of 24 students for each local program and we are thrilled to have met that goal in our second year. We have students in grades 6 through 12 from all three communities and the surrounding area, attending public and private schools. These students exemplify what it means to be young entrepreneurs and we are looking forward to watching them develop their ideas over the course of this program.

On October 17, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2017 and their parents met for the first time at an orientation to learn about what their year in YEA! would look like. Special guests who joined in on the evening were Craig Whitney, NDSU President Dean Bresciani, Dr. Scott Beaulier, Dean of the College of Business at NDSU, Dan Hurder from Great Plains Hospitality and Jim Hambrick from Cornerstone Bank, the Presenting Sponsor for YEA!. The YEA! class is meeting at NDSU’s Barry Hall for 10 weeks before moving to MSUM’s Center for Business and Concordia College’s Grant Center to finish off the year.

In addition to starting the business brainstorming process in October, students had the opportunity to tour Fargo Jet Center. They loved what they saw and were inspired to be creative in the development of their own businesses and social movements. This month, students will continue to develop their ideas, learn business plan basics and will start to conduct market research. By next month, each student will finalize his/her business idea and will be preparing to dive into the process of writing a business plan!

We are excited to have Josh Teigen, president and CEO at Crossfox Innovation and president and CFO at Protosthetics, back on board as our YEA! instructor this year. Teigen, a young entrepreneur himself, is an excellent resource for YEA! students as he can help them navigate their way through the business development and launch process that he has been through himself. Teigen believes businesses launched through YEA! will have a positive economic and social impact on the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community–and we think he’s right!


Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for—meet the Young Entrepreneurs Academy class of 2016-17!

YEA class headshots

Assraa Al-abase, Cheney Middle School

Cooper Chwialkowski, West Fargo High School

Connor Dahlvang, Davies High School

Josh Gronneberg, Davies High School

Ciarra Hanson, Liberty Middle School

Fardosa Hassan, West Fargo High School

Logan Heger, Cheney Middle School

Habiba Heshmat, Davies High School

Taranvir Johal, Oak Grove High School

John Johnson, Cheney Middle School

Ameena Jovonovich, Fargo North High

Max Lavitschke, West Fargo High School

Joanna Lin, Davies High School

Bridget McManamon, Moorhead High School

Chase Monson, Fargo South High

Chase Ohren, Cheney Middle School

Evan Ohren, Cheney Middle School

Tanner Paler, West Fargo High School

Derek Phelps, Davies High School

Grant Puckett, Moorhead High School

Anushka Sikdar, Cheney Middle School

Lauren Steinhauer, Cheney Middle School


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