YES Camp Teaches Young Entrepreneurs Preparation, Perseverance

Increased financing opportunities for small business development in recent years has encouraged more young self-starters to consider opening their own businesses.

Whether an entrepreneur will succeed, however, depends on how well they have planned their operation before its start.

An entrepreneurship course offered at Texas A&M International University this summer is designed to help high school juniors and seniors to prepare for challenges they will face before they enter the business world.

The 3rd Annual Youth Entrepreneurship (YES) Summer Camp, led by economics professor Dr. Michael Patrick, will take place May 29 - June 30 at the A&M International campus.

The 45-hour program will explore topics such as how to develop a business plan, raising capital for a business, financing strategies, consumer satisfaction, market research and business costs.

"In this course, students will spend 25 hours learning first-hand the process of establishing and operating a business. They will identify a business opportunity and then develop a business plan," said Dr. Patrick.

Those that successfully complete the program will receive three hours of academic credit from A&M International through concurrent enrollment.

Students interested in enrolling must be high school rising juniors or graduating seniors who are recommended by their counselors and have an overall GPA of at least 85. Applications must be received no later than May 1 at the YES Camp Program, in offices located in Pellegrino Hall 314.

"What makes this program even more attractive is that students admitted will receive scholarships covering 90 percent of program costs including tuition, books and materials," Patrick said, adding since the program's inception in 1998, a total of 76 students from Laredo and area high schools have completed the program.

Patrick said the program has also enjoyed steady support by both local for-profit and non-profit organizations that recognize the importance of educating youth about the role that free enterprise and enterprise development play in achieving economic growth, community renewal and individual success.

Program sponsors include the Laredo Manufacturers Association, Norwest Bank, Laredo Development Foundation, Laredo National Bank, South Texas National Bank, Southwestern Bell and Junior Achievement of Laredo.

For further information on the YES Camp or how to enroll, please contact Dr. Patrick at (956) 326-2547. Information can also be obtained by visiting the University's Web Page at University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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