I Pay it Forward Through the YEA Program and our Chamber of Commerce

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Friends & Neighbors Real Estate RB14036506

Young Entrepreneur Academy

Hosted by the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce



In May of 2016 I learned of a presentation made by students to local Investors needing funding for their creative ideas. The students had businesses of their own, from a T-Shirt printing Company who gives money for cancer research to a Grocery Delivery Service for home bound people.



I invited two young men that I know, ages 14 and 15 who run their own business of selling candy on the school bus. These two each made any where from $50 to $100 a week for their efforts. After the presentation I asked them if they would like to join the YEA program, with their parents permission, of course.  For one of the boys it meant he had to bring his grades up in order to be eligible. I am paying for both of their tuition's and am picking them up every week and taking them home afterward.  Both of them live about 40 miles away from me.



All the way home they talked about how cool it was these peers got up in front of investors and pitched their businesses.


The Investors were only allowed to ask three questions and when all the presentations were done, the Investors went in to another room where they made their selections and the amount they were donating to each of them.


Nate and Matt have been to orientation and three classes so far, plus one field trip to Ethos Science Center in Elkhart.


Orientation let them know which door they were to enter and exit from, received their class notebooks and answered any question parents had.


The first night of class each student got to talk about their idea for a business and they received feedback from the other kids and the class instructor.


Week two they started working on their business plans


Week three was the field-trip to Ethos Science Center where they were exposed to robots and they learn about science.


I am paying in forward in the lives of two young men who will be business owners rather than working for someone else, right out of high school. Oh, by the way, it is the first time their school has been represented at YEA and they are the only two students from their high school.


The winner of our local program has the opportunity to compete with other YEA students across the country and that winner will then go on to Washington DC




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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Evelyn Johnston, can't get any better than this. I applaud you for taking the time to make a difference in the lives of these two young men. 

Nov 30, 2016 07:14 PM #1
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Evelyn Johnston - What a wonderful way to pay it forward!  A truly touching story.  What an opportunity for these two young men and the investment in their futures, by you and the group is priceless!  

All it takes is one person to care and they can make a life-long difference for someone else - bless you!

Nov 30, 2016 07:22 PM #2
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Evelyn,  That is such a great program. No doubt you are impacting their lives is immeasurable ways.  

Nov 30, 2016 07:51 PM #3
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Evelyn

The YEA is such a cool program to start impacting young business people and affording them the opportunity to do more. I'm so impressed with what you are doing!! Keep us posted, please!


Nov 30, 2016 07:54 PM #4
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good for you Evelyn.  This is really a wonderful thing you've done for these boys.

Dec 01, 2016 04:30 AM #5
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

Such a terrific pay it forward. Good luck to these two entrepreneurs!

Dec 01, 2016 06:24 AM #6
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes


 Wow that is awesome and very worthy to help not only the boys but people in need! I applaud you!

Dec 01, 2016 01:11 PM #7
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Evelyn, This is a great way to give back and pay it forwrad. good for you and I know these two young guys really apprecaite your support. I believe these guys will be successful in whatever business they start. 

Dec 01, 2016 02:54 PM #8
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