OLYMPIA, Wash., April 21, 2014—The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation announced the Washington state recipients of its 12th 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 Washington state. They are:
- Emily George of Moxee, winner of the NFIB/Tsillan Cellars Young Entrepreneur Award and a senior at East Valley High School
- Jordan Jessen of Tacoma, winner of the NFIB/DeWils Industries Young Entrepreneur Award and a senior at Bellarmine Preparatory School
- Madison Laycock of Issaquah, winner of the NFIB/Washington State Leadership Council Young Entrepreneur Award and a senior at Skyline High School
- Carolyn van der Meulen of Mukilteo, winner of the NFIB/Betty & Steve Neighbors Young Entrepreneur Award and a senior at Kamiak High School
In 2014, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded 100 Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships to students across the country. Each award is between $1,000 and $15,000. Students who received the Young Entrepreneur Award are seniors in high school who own and/or operate their own small business. The scholarships are used to help with tuition costs for the winners’ post-secondary education. NFIB’s Young Entrepreneur Foundation awarded $145,000 to deserving young entrepreneurs in 2014, thanks to the financial support from numerous small-business leaders, corporate and foundation supporters.
“On behalf of NFIB/Washington’s Leadership Council, I wish to personally congratulate Washington’s four 2014 scholarship award recipients,” said NFIB national board member and YEF scholarship sponsor Betty Neighbors of TERRA Staffing Group. “These young people are a source of pride and inspiration to NFIB members across the state. In addition to busy schedules of school, sports and volunteer activities, each of these award winners devotes several hours each week pursuing their passion to operate and grow their own small business. These four remarkable young entrepreneurs remind us that the spirit of Free Enterprise is alive and well in Washington state.”
Added Molly Young, senior manager of the Young Entrepreneur Foundation: “America’s young people have caught the entrepreneurial bug, and we at the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation could not be more confident in our next generation of business owners. The number of applicants for the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards continues to grow, and we are impressed year after year with the quality of these hard-working, innovative high school students who are making their entrepreneurial dreams happen. Our scholarship winners are driven to succeed; our nation’s future is all the brighter because of their determination and leadership. 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.”
In addition to recognizing these outstanding young entrepreneurs, the Young Entrepreneur Foundation will honor five students selected as Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists with an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on July 16. During the event, the winners of the 2014 NFIB Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the 2014 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 scholarship. A full list of this year’s winners is available here.
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. Since 2003, YEF has awarded over 2,500 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million to graduating high school seniors.
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/Washington
711 Capitol Way South, Suite 505
Olympia, WA 98501