South Dakota Senior Awarded National Scholarship

Date: April 26, 2017

News Release--Orient high school student also one of five finalists for Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Contact: Molly Young, YEF Foundation Director, [email protected]
or Melissa Keckler, NFIB Grassroots Manager, [email protected]

PIERRE, S.D., April 26, 2017—A South Dakota high school senior was not only among the 100 winners of a Young Entrepreneur Foundation Scholarship award from the National Federation of Independent Business, announced today, she also made the cut for one of five finalists for the top prize of Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Now in its 15th year, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Awards are designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students.

The South Dakota winner is Ellen Schlechter of Orient who attends Faulkton High School in Faulkton. She received an NFIB/Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Award of at least $5,000 with the potential of it becoming $15,000. Schlechter is a co-owner of The Calving Book App Company, a mobile application business, and plans to attend South Dakota State University.

“We are thrilled to have a local student as a finalist for one of NFIB’s most prestigious award,” said Lindsey Riter-Rapp, NFIB’s South Dakota state director. “It is young entrepreneurs like Ms. Schlechter who are the future of our business community. We look forward to watching her dreams become a reality with this award.”

Thanks to Visa and other small-business supporters, 95 of the graduating high school seniors will receive $2,000 toward their college and university costs. Five students are in the running for the top Young Entrepreneur of the Year scholarship and the Dan Danner Scholarship. Both will receive $15,000. The remaining three finalists will receive a $5,000 Young Entrepreneur Award. A special ceremony announcing the five will be held in Washington, D.C. July 27.

The scholarship prizes were financed by the donations of NFIB members and Visa, Inc. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded more than 2,800 scholarships totaling almost $3 million. The scholarships are used to help with tuition costs for the winners’ post-secondary education. To qualify for an NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award, students must be seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. They are required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. NFIB members around the country interview the applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards.

A full list of this year’s winners, as well as past winners, is available here.


The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization promoting the importance of small business and free enterprise to the nation’s youth. More information is available at The Foundation is associated with the National Federation of Independent Business; NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.  

National Federation of Independent Business/South Dakota
PO Box 280
Pierre, S.D. 57501
Twitter @NFIB_SD

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