NFIB/Texas Celebrates Top Young Entrepreneurs of 2015

Date: May 05, 2015

Texas High School Seniors Win Scholarships for Starting Small Businesses

The National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) Young Entrepreneur Foundation (YEF) recently announced the recipients of the 13th annual NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards, a scholarship program designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students. More than 600 students nationwide applied for a YEF scholarship this year and NFIB is proud to award four scholarships to young entrepreneurs in Texas, thanks to Donald F Summers, Eddie Boykin, and W.W. Cannon, Inc.
“In Texas, we pride ourselves on being business friendly and want our great state and economy to flourish because of pioneering entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. And these young individuals are our next generation of those pioneering entrepreneurs,” said NFIB/Texas Executive Director Will Newton. “Small business is the economic backbone of the state comprising more than 96% of all businesses in Texas and to continue to support this standard we must continue to foster tomorrow’s business leaders and owners, today.”
The 2015 YEF Award winners from Texas are:
  • Daniel Bloom, currently attends R.L. Paschal High School in Fort Worth and plans to attend Oklahoma State University (Main Campus) — His business, Bloom Cyber Defense, was started in 2012 and works with different companies and organizations across the globe to ensure that customers get the best security solutions possible.
  • Rebecca Grekin, currently attends Memorial High School in Houston and plans to attend MIT — Her business, Re-becca Jewelry, fuses craft-making and environmental sustainability that is inspired by Latin American style. Her jewelry is sold internationally and locally through Etsy and at local bazaars and boutiques.
  • Kushal Kadakia, currently attends Clear Lake High School in Houston and plans to attend Harvard University — His business, Clear Lake DECA School Store, is a school-based enterprise founded in 2013. It is a non-profit, retail-based organization with a market of 2,500 students that aims to recirculate profits into the DECA chapter in order to remove money as a barrier to academic success. 
  • Elizabeth Thorne, currently attends Arlington High School in Arlington and plans to attend Baylor University — Her business, Ellie Thorne Photography, is a business that captures moments that will last a lifetime. As a sole proprietor she creates emotion-evoking photographs for her clients and is committed to a strategy of providing high quality work at an affordable cost. 
“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.”
In addition to recognizing these outstanding young entrepreneurs, the Young Entrepreneur Foundation will honor five students selected as Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award finalists at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on July 23, 2015. During the event, the winners of the “2015 NFIB Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and 
“2015 NFIB Dan Danner Leadership Award” will be named and each awarded a $15,000 scholarship. The remaining three finalists will each receive a $5,000.00 scholarship.
“NFIB congratulates this year’s winners for their tremendous accomplishments and hopes the scholarships will assist these young entrepreneurs as they continue on their paths towards successful futures,” Young added. 
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 at

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