You’ll Shout YEA! When You Read About This Girl
I am always on the lookout for great programs I can share with you that teach kids about business. Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an afterschool program in many cities throughout the country. Kayla Abramowitz, the YEA! winner of the 2015 Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce Investors Panel and a 2015 National Champion, gave me the inside scoop on her experience.
Kayla’s winning concept is Kayla Cares 4 Kids, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that collects educational and entertainment items and donates them to children’s hospitals nationwide. She got the idea after noticing an extremely limited DVD selection for her age level during many of her hospital visits for Crohn’s Disease and Juvenile Arthritis treatments.
Bright Girls: Kayla, what was your favorite part of the YEA! program?
Kayla Abramowitz: Getting to meet all the people and listening to their ideas. It was very exciting to hear all the different ideas people had to change the world.
BG: Did you know before you started the YEA! program that you wanted to set up a non-profit?
KA: I started my organization a year before getting into YEA! Being in the program really boosted my organization. Before doing the program I didn’t know what a business plan was. They got me working on one and also helped me to figure out how I was going to take my organization and make it better.
BG: It’s awesome that you set up a non-profit. Can you tell me about learning how to establish one?
KA and her mom: We were not officially a non-profit until after YEA! They had people come in and talk to us about accounting, filing for taxes, and more. We also decided to go to the Office Depot Foundation two day non-profit training event. It was a great experience. It was Kayla’s first experience seeing that you need to know other people, talk about what you are doing, what they are doing, and how to help each other. We met other non-profits there and we even met the attorney who helped us to set up the non-profit paperwork.
It was a great experience and Kayla was featured in the Office Depot annual report!
At this point we knew we were going to need a lot of help. Kayla had been using Microsoft clip art for her marketing materials. We met a designer who wanted to help us and she created a great logo. We met this graphic designer at Starbucks somewhat regularly and one day we all were talking about what was next. We were saying that we needed a website, but how do we do it? Someone there overheard, and he explained to us…”You get a domain at a site like Go Daddy”. That was Joe; he ended up creating the website for us. Another time when we were there a mother and her daughter came in, they overheard our conversation and starting talking to us, she became a strategic advisor. We now call that location Kayla’s magical Starbucks!
Bright Girls: What age kids are the donations for? (Question from Kira, age 11)
KA: The DVDs are PG-13 and under, hospitals will take anything from Baby Einstein to Hunger Games. We also collect new and gently used game consoles (Wii, PlayStation, Xbox), video games, DVD players, books, and arts and crafts.
The only thing we can’t take are torn up books and VHS tapes.
Bright Girls: Kayla, what are your three favorite things that you do for Kayla Cares 4 Kids?
- Starting the organization
- Donating to the hospitals because it makes everyone feel good
- Seeing kids smiling when they receive the items.
The YEA! in Northern Palm Beach has spots available for their upcoming session, click here to learn more and fill out an application. For programs in other parts of the country check out the national YEA! site here. You know I love to hear about kids changing their worlds! So if you participate in the program be sure to send us an email, or post on facebook or twitter.
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