On August 1, ten Sarasota County high school students graduated from the Perlman Price Young Entrepreneurs Program (PYE), a new opportunity at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County where teens can receive 65+ hours of entrepreneurial education. The graduates included sophomore Michael Hawthrone and freshman Erick Reynoso from Booker High School; Lucas Richter, senior at Cardinal Mooney; Pineview senior Jabin Chambers and freshman Grace Kim; sophomore Tyanna Denord and senior Ian McLean from Sarasota High School; junior Katherine Hernandez and freshman Woodrow Stewart from Sarasota Military Academy; and Suncoast Polytechnical High School sophomore Ryan Jackson.
Thanks to the incredible programmatic support of Richard E. Perlman and James K. Price, this inaugural 7-week program empowered the teens to develop critical thinking, leadership and financial literacy skills through practical business exposure and mentorships with local leaders in the entrepreneurial field.
When the program launched in June, the students were introduced to the concepts of entrepreneurship and learned how to identify opportunities to meet the unique demands in a variety of markets. As the training progressed, the teens put their problem-solving skills to the test and began developing their own business ideas.
By July, the class was conducting market research to collect, organize and interpret data on potential customers and competitors. Once the data collection was done, the teens learned about the cost of doing business, focusing on why fixed, variable and start-up expenses are necessary to turn their ideas into a functioning business plan. The teens learned how to market their ideas to attract, obtain and retain customers. Then, thanks to the generosity of Sam Alfstad and Nancy Mina, the students pitched their business plans at the end of the program to local investors for a chance at securing start-up funds.
The students created a variety of business plans spanning from a healthy chocolate bar infused with fruit and vegetable juices for the calorie-conscious consumer to tiny houses sponsored by local businesses to provide transitional shelter for the homeless in Sarasota County.
In the end, Ryan Jackson, a Suncoast Polytechnical High School sophomore and Gene Matthews Boys & Girls Club member, had the winning pitch for his idea, R2R Promotions.
“R2R Promotions is a social media marketing agency that creates, personalizes and maintains social media accounts for businesses in the Sarasota County area,” said Ryan. “We will meet with our clients to discuss exactly what they are looking to get out of social media marketing, what they want their accounts to look like and which platforms they wish to use. R2R Promotions also handles any type of photography needs.”
Congratulations to Ryan and the inaugural PYE class for successfully completing this program!
PYE is offered three-times a year at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, specifically in the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center. Orientation for the fall class will take place Wednesday, September 6, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tom & Debbie Shapiro Career Resource Center. Teens who are interested in participating in the PYE program this fall can sign up today by clicking here. For more information, contact Caroline Windom, Entrepreneurial Programs Specialist, at 941-217-5295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.