South Dakota Student One of Five National Finalists

Date: July 25, 2017

News Release--Ellen Schlechter of Orient will find out Thursday if she is the top scholarship winner

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

PIERRE, S.D., July 25, 2017—At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Thursday, July 27, Ellen Schlechter of Orient, who recently graduated from Faulkton High School and is headed to South Dakota State University, will find out if she will be named the National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

As one of five national finalists, she is guaranteed a scholarship award of $5,000. Should Schlechter be named Young Entrepreneur of the Year, the amount of the award would jump to $15,000. Now in its 15th year, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Awards are designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students.

Schlechter developed an app that allows those who raise cattle to keep an electronic calving book with easier to access data. She is a co-owner of The Calving Book App, “Records when and where you need them!” She can be reached at 605-870-1213 or by email at [email protected].

“Ellen has done our state proud by becoming one of only five finalists from the 100 winners across the nation,” said Lindsey Riter-Rapp, NFIB’s South Dakota state director. “All of South Dakota is rooting for her to win the top prize.”

The scholarship prizes were financed by the donations of NFIB members and other small business advocate organizations. This year, 95 high school graduates received $2,000 awards toward their university and college studies. 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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