YEA! Web MastheadThe Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a groundbreaking and exciting year long class that transforms middle and high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs.

Sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, and with the support of local business and businesspeople, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors, and actually launch and run their own real, legal, fully formed companies and social movements. Complete with dynamic guest speakers from the local business community and exciting behind-the-scenes trips to local companies, the fun, projects-based YEA! approach empowers students to take charge of their futures in a profound way.

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Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kaufmann Foundation, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy today serves thousands of students in 168 communities across America. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce and Campaign for Free Enterprise became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders.


The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is not only a wonderful tool to teach students about business, but also a great way to build confident leaders with values. An excellent instrument to unify the business and educational communities, YEA! continues to expand across the country.

Manhattan Beach YEA! Application 2018-19

YEA! Manhattan Beach is sponsored by the following:


Program Manager

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While a career as a marketing representative at IBM and an office manager for a chiropractic clinic helped “pay the bills,” Nellie Ambrose has been a “wantrepreneur” for over 25 years. While living in Virginia she established a home-based cupcake business named, ‘Sweet Nellies’, that expanded into cookies and cakes. She also filed a provisional patent for a convertible garment bag. Currently Nell is working on what she hopes will be her most gratifying accomplishment, Walk the Ridge, which is a social movement to restore civility and tolerance among people of different opinions and ideologies.

Nell is and always has been an active volunteer in the communities in which she has resided. While living in Manhattan Beach she has been involved with Leadership Manhattan Beach, Special Olympics, Mira Costa PTSA, Mira Costa Bands, and is on the board of the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, among other causes.


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Rachel Thomas has been the instructor for the program since it came to Manhattan Beach in 2015. She has been an English and Journalism teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School for 18 years and helps make the language of business accessible to teens.

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