DENVER, Colo., April 20, 2015—Seven Colorado high school seniors were among 100 winners nationally from a pool of more than 600 applicants competing this year for a Young Entrepreneur Foundation scholarship award from the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest and leading small-business association since 1943.
NFIB’s YEF scholarship program is designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students. “America’s young people have caught the entrepreneurial bug, and we could not be more confident in our next generation of business owners,” said Molly Young, Director of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. “We are impressed year after year with the quality of these hard-working, innovative high school students who are making their entrepreneurial dreams happen.”
One high school senior, Asya Gonzalez from Centennial, who attends Arapahoe High School, is one of just five finalists nationally eligible to receive either a $5,000 or $15,000 scholarship, which will be announced at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. on July 23. Gonzalez’ enterprise is Stinky Feet Gurlz.
The other Colorado winners were:
- Natasha Breakall of Kiowa, who attends Elizabeth High School, and was awarded an NFIB/Bill and Kathy Hybl Young Entrepreneur Award of $1,000. Breakall’s enterprise is Tasha Rose Photography.
- Mackenzie Burgess of Woodland Park, who attends Woodland Park High School, and was awarded an NFIB/Colorado Leadership Council Young Entrepreneur Award of $1,000. Burgess’ enterprise is Kenzie’s Creative cases.
- Breanna Hendricks of Springfield, who attends Springfield High School, and was awarded an NFIB/El Pomar Foundation Young Entrepreneur Award of $1,000. Hendricks’ enterprise is Baca Boers.
- Austin Littlefield of Stoneham, who attends Prairie School, and was awarded an NFIB/El Pomar Foundation Young Entrepreneur Award of $1,000. Littlefield’s enterprise is Austin Littlefield’s Beef Production.
- Adam Swanson of Wray, who attends Wray High School, and was awarded an NFIB/Joe and Jerry Hybl Young Entrepreneur Foundation Aware of $1,000. Swanson’s enterprise is Logan’s Lawn Care.
- Chase Youngman of Castle Rock, who attends Douglas County High School, and was awarded an NFIB/El Pomar Foundation Young Entrepreneur Award of $1,000. Youngman’s enterprise is C3Vending.
“I am sincerely honored to represent an organization that has proven to be champions of young entrepreneurs and continues to encourage young people to reach their full potentials,” said Tony Gagliardi, NFIB’s Colorado state director.
Colorado YEF scholarships were financed by the donations of NFIB members and by the generous contributions from El Pomar Foundation. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded more than 2,600 scholarships totaling $2.6 million. This year, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded $145,000 to deserving young entrepreneurs. Each award is between $1,000 and $15,000. 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 www.NFIB.com/YEF. 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/Colorado
1580 Logan St. Suite 520
Denver, CO 80203