Evanston Y.O.U. slated to launch entrepreneurship program

Amanda Gilbert

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Evanston’s Youth Organizations Umbrella will recruit at least 20 local business professionals to teach in their Youth Entrepreneurs Summer Program.

Seth Green, Y.O.U. executive director, said the new YES! program will focus on helping young people, mainly high school students, learn how to become entrepreneurs. They will learn about business and leadership and how to apply those skills to future jobs.

Y.O.U. reached out to local business professionals who were willing to share their work experiences, Green added.

“We have a lot of really cool business people from Evanston,” Green said. “We have someone who invented a new way to frame photos, someone who started a pet spa company and someone who launched a global music television station.”

Green said the business leaders can teach students about the process of inventing and patenting products as well as inspire them to become future innovators.

“YES! will encourage students to commit to key elements, such as college and internships, that will spark their interest in this business future,” he said.

The program, which will begin in June, is among the many educational programs Y.O.U. organizes, said Marianne Moberly, Y.O.U.’s development director. She said the organization will serve more than 700 youths in Evanston this year.

“We have a positive impact on a lot of young people in Evanston,” Moberly said. “We have a number of people with entrepreneur backgrounds who will serve as storytellers this summer. I call them storytellers because they share stories about how they’ve become who they are.”

Janese Johnson, Y.O.U.’s youth development specialist, said during the school year, the organization focuses on providing after-school care and academic tutoring. During the summer, it offers the program as a summer camp that prepares students for the coming school year.

“I love watching the kids grow and seeing them want to be a part of the group,” Johnson said. “I love when they have that ‘a-ha’ moment.”

Green said he hopes the summer program will give the students a vision and help them achieve it.

“We are thrilled to be a part of a program that could cause a transformation for the kids,” Green said