Youth About Business launches online business academy for high school students

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Urban News Staff Reports

Youth About Business (YAB), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation that provides leadership training for youth in underserved communities, today announced that it is opening its Youth About Business Online Academy, an intensive virtual leadership development program. 

The camp, now in its 21st year, has traditionally operated in-person programming in Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Texas, and the Western and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country, but this year, for the first time ever, the program will take place entirely online, enabling thousands of students to participate. 

The Youth About Business Online Academy will expose students to a variety of business-related materials and experiences that they do not normally receive in the typical high school setting.  Students will be organized into teams and will assume the role of an executive management team of a corporation. They will then compete against one another to structure and negotiate a simulated merger or acquisition, while being advised by business professionals, including attorneys, accountants, investment bankers and marketing specialists.

The online academy will double the number of corporate executives that help mentor and teach students throughout the program. In years previous, Youth About Business has worked with 300 business professionals, but the online model will give students access to over 600 corporate executives. These executives will help students understand the complexities of business transactions and give them guidance on the proper techniques used when negotiating a merger or acquisition.

"Youth About Business is the most transformative summer experience in which I have ever participated," said Injil Muhammad, an alumni of Youth About Business and current undergraduate student at Harvard University. "Because of the tremendous exposure to industry professionals doing the same work that we were, I thereafter had the confidence to enter any building on Wall Street and feel that I deserved to be there."

The Youth About Business Online Academy is open to, and encourages the participation of, students from all economic backgrounds. The cost of the program is underwritten by Moody's, Nissan North America, Ernst & Young, Alston & Bird, Truist Bank (formerly SunTrust Robinson Humphrey), The Stringer Foundation, Sony Corporation of America, and many other corporate partners. Scholarships are available for students that demonstrate financial need. 

"This year we are thrilled to be able to present a unique online opportunity to over 1,000 high school students across America," said Sam Kirk, executive director of Youth About Business. "While many summer programs are not able to go forward due to current restrictions in travel and group gatherings, our program is absolutely suited to the online environment, as we will be using online tools so that students are able to collaborate as teams and interact with business leaders in real time."

The Youth About Business Online Academy is broken down into several parts.

The first part of the program, titled "The Business Economy of America," will run from June 29 to July 1, 2020.  It is open to all Online Academy participants and will offer online classes and seminars from 10 am to 2 pm ET each day.

At the end of the week, each student will take an end of program diagnostic that will evaluate their understanding of the information.  Out of all the participating students, 300 will be invited to proceed with the Online Academy, with the balance being provided monthly online career preparation and mentoring for the next 10 months through Youth About Business.

The 300 continuing students will be broken up into 60 teams of 5 students, and will receive mentoring and coaching from business professionals and C-suite executives.  During this time the students will be engaged in a Merger & Acquisition Simulation where they will review publicly traded documents to determine how to properly value the transaction and protect shareholder value.  This education will give them a unique look into the world of corporate finance and business transactions.

After these teams have made their presentations, which will be evaluated and judged by a panel of national business leaders, nine teams will be invited to the Youth About Business Online Championship Camp, to be held the week of July 26, 2020.

These nine teams will once again negotiate a Merger & Acquisition transaction.  They will assume the role of an executive management team of a publicly-traded company as they negotiate and finalize the terms of their simulated business acquisitions.  Executive judges will review and vote on the students' shareholder reports at the end of the mock acquisition to determine the winners.

Following the selection of a winner, all nine teams will receive monthly tutoring and mentoring through Youth About Business.

For those interested in applying to The Youth About Business Online Academy, or for more information, please go to www.youthaboutbusiness.org.

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