SALEM, Ore., April 19, 2016—From a pool of more than 583 applicants nationwide, four Oregon high school seniors were among the 100 winners of 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 Young Entrepreneur Awards are designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students. “These young entrepreneurs are the future of small business in America,” 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.”
Ninety-five 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 of $25,000 and the $15,000 Dan Danner Scholarship. The remaining three finalists will receive a $10,000 Young Entrepreneur Award. A special ceremony announcing the five will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 23.
The Oregon winners were:
- Alexandra Adriano of Tigard, who attends Tualatin High School and received an NFIB/Oregon Leadership Council Young Entrepreneur Award of $2,000. Adriano’s enterprise is Everybody Dance Now! Portland.
- Katherine Miles of Scio, who attends Scio High School and received an NFIB/Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Portland/Vancouver Young Entrepreneur Award worth $2,000. Miles’s enterprise is Kate’s Couture. “We wish Katherine continued success with this enterprise and any other endeavors she pursues,” said Steve Ferree, NFIB/Oregon Leadership Council Chair and owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing.
- Bettemariam Rooney of Enterprise, who attends Enterprise High School and received an NFIB/Dave Easton Young Entrepreneur Award of $2,000. Rooney’s enterprise is 4 Paws Pet Sitting and Treats. The NFIB/Oregon Dave Easton memorial award was established to remember one of Easton’s common sayings, according to his daughter, Lisa Nakajima, “hold on to your dreams and then figure out how to pay for them as this is how an entrepreneurial business is born.”
- Roxy Schultz of Ashland, who attends Ashland High School and received an NFIB/Betty and Steve Neighbors Young Entrepreneur Award of $2,000. Schultz’s enterprise is Roxy’s Baked Delights. “It’s an honor to help students who are balancing class work and on top of that, starting a business,” said Betty Neighbors, founder of TERRA Services. “We’re happy to do anything we can to ignite their potential free enterprise spirit.”
Oregon YEF Scholarships were financed by the donations of NFIB members. Each of these contributions was then matched by Visa Inc. to provide more reward for these deserving young entrepreneurs. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded more than 2,700 scholarships totaling $2.7 million. This year, NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded $270,000 to deserving young entrepreneurs. Each award is between $2,000 and $25,000. 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/Oregon
3340 Commercial St. S.E. Suite 210
Salem, OR 97302