Durham Youth Pitch Professional Business Ideas

Durham Youth Pitch Professional Business Ideas

Courtesy Youth Education for Saving

Financial Education Program Helps Durham Campers Showcase Business Acumen

By Kimberly Knox

DURHAM, NC – The highs and lows of today’s economic climate serve as a great opportunity to teach young aspiring entrepreneurs about business. This summer, Durham youth have experienced that first-hand, harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley. On August 11, students from Camp Calvary headlined a small business expo as a part of the Youth Education for Saving Consortium (YES) summer program, held at the Lyon Park Community Family Life and Recreation Center.  Before a panel of judges comprised of local business professionals, students competed with like-minded peers for a VISA gift cards and bragging rights. The campers spent days brainstorming ideas, honing their research and writing skills, and ultimately developed business plans.

Youth participant

The expo highlighted a variety of products and services created by groups and individuals alike: a unique line of video games; a new brand of high quality, low price sneaker, even dental services.  The entrepreneurs were judged based upon presentation, creativity, ability to manage Q&A, and the overall business concept.

The judges awarded Kiara Leathers 1st place for Click Click Photography.  Her award also included a $100 Visa gift card. Kyle Morgan’s physical training business earned him 2nd place and a $50 Visa gift card.  Three runner-up awards were presented to Amia Gatlins, Dacia Redmond, and Jaylin Stanfield.  Each of these awards included a $25 Visa gift card. The judges had nothing but positive reviews in response to the expo. “The kids at the Small Business Expo really impressed me with their vision and attention to detail,” remarked Jim Doughty, a senior strategic writer at Capstrat, a marketing communications firm based in Raleigh. “I wish a program like this had been available when I was their age. We spend a lot of time telling kids to follow their dreams, but Youth Education for Savings is helping them understand how.”

The judges panel also included Bethany Chaney, Freelance Consultant to Non-Profit Organizations; Kaye Gantt, Special Projects, Finance & Marketing, NC Institute for Minority Economic Development; and Michael Graham, President of KMG Holdings.

The Youth Education for Saving Consortium (YES) is a local nonprofit organization designed to teach money management skills to students in order to equip and enable them to make sound financial decisions. Lessons include personal finance, money management, and entrepreneurship. The program partners with youth organizations to teach sound money management and savings habits. Kimberly Knox, the director of YES, has developed collaborative partnerships with groups such as Durham Parks & Recreation and the Quality Life Foundation to help children in Durham to have access to the program. Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo company, served as the primary funder of the business expo.

Special Thanks! Collaborative Partnerships Helped Make Summer Camps Successful

Camp Calvary

The YES Consortium, Inc. developed collaborative partnerships with Durham Parks & Recreation, Wake Forest Parks and Recreation, NC Association of CPAs, NC Institute for Minority Economic Development and Quality Life Foundation for the 2011 summer camp series.

In particular, four enthusiastic CPAs served as volunteers to help deliver financial lessons to the campers. These gracious individuals included Dr. Linda Poulson, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Accounting, Elon University; Chris Jenkins, Investment Advisor Representative, Jenkins Management Consulting; James Heyward, CPA and Business Advisor Firm; and Claude Bogues, CPA, PLLC.

Wachovia Bank, a Wells Fargo company and NC Institute for Minority Economic Development provided funding for the 2011 YES Small Business Ventures Summer Camp.

Special Populations Campers Demonstrate Business Savvy, Reap Rewards


This summer, Durham youth enrolled at a select number of Durham Parks & Recreation camps had the opportunity to learn some important lessons in personal finance and business while competing in the Youth Education for Savings Consortium’s (YES) Small Business Ventures Program.  The YES Small Business Ventures Program is designed to introduce the youth to fundamental business concepts, general business vernacular, and the opportunity to pursue a career in entrepreneurship.

The winners of the challenge were the students at Camp Explorer, a Special Populations camp, of the Holton Career & Resource Center. The students were able to take what they learned over the course of 6-weeks and successfully apply it to a real-life business situation, acting as mini-entrepreneurs and selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The group earned $306 in sales, more than any other participating camp. On August 7, they were rewarded with a tour of Wachovia Bank in Raleigh, a celebration at California Pizza Kitchen, and individual certificates of participation.

For more information concerning the Youth Education for Savings Consortium, Inc., please contact Kimberly Knox at kim@yesconsortium.org.