YEA Tangipahoa Class Photo.jpeg

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy Tangipahoa Class of 2017-2018 are presented by Judge Blair Edwards, Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Melissa Bordelon, Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University Executive Director Bill Joubert and YEA! Northshore Founder and Licensee Shelby P. LaSalle Jr. Pictured are, from left, on the platform, Edwards and LaSalle, back row, Bordelon, Joubert, Caleb Ellzey, Katherine Miller, Kaylan Smith, Samuel Echols, Bailey Courville, Randell Birch Jr., Levi Colvin, Ashlynn Disher, Megan Lynn, Skylar Pirnar and Sarah Gordon; and front row, Maggie Tilyou, Kierra Williams, Areil Tircuit, Gracie Babin, Dominique Davis, Shelby Marie LaSalle, Mary Hanks and Kelby Matthews.

Contributed photo

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Tangipahoa announced 20 students have been accepted to the 2017-18 class, where they will learn the process of creating and building their own business.

YEA! Tangipahoa is the product of a partnership with the Greater Hammond Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Southeastern Louisiana University, Northshore Community Foundation and Shelby P. LaSalle Jr. Professional Project Services, a news release said.

The 20 students were introduced by Judge Blair Edwards at a ceremony Oct. 11 in the Southeastern Student Union Grand Ballroom in Hammond.

“Our goal is to shape what might be instead of serving what is,” YEA! Northshore Founder & Licensee Shelby P. LaSalle Jr. said. “We want our student businesses to make a job, not take a job.”

During the 26-week program, students will have the opportunity to learn from numerous business leaders, explore several businesses and participate in a mentoring process as they design and build their own business. The students ultimately will create business plans and present them to an investor panel, which will invest in the best businesses presented.

The individual student or team with the best plan will advance to the regional competition in Rochester, New York where YEA! originated. If they win there, students will advance to the national level in Washington, D.C. Those who compete well at the national level can receive in-kind donations, other investments and potentially full college scholarships.

Tangipahoa students listed by school

Hammond Eastside Magnet: Gracie Babin and Kelby Matthews

Hammond High Magnet: Dominique Davis, Caleb Ellzey and Maggie Tilyou

Homeschool: Mary Hanks

Independence High Magnet: Kaylan Smith

Jewel M. Sumner High: Levi Colvin

Kentwood High Magnet: Kierra Williams

Loranger High: Bailey Courville and Randell Birch Jr.

Natalbany Middle: Areil Tircuit

Oak Forest Academy: Skylar Pirnar, Megan Lynn and Sarah Gordon

Ponchatoula High: Samuel Echols and Ashlynn Disher

For information on the YEA! Tangipahoa Program, call Bill Joubert at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at (985) 549-3831.