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It’s More Than Just a Class — It’s YE.

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It’s More Than Just a Class — It’s YE.

Trevor Sharp, reporter

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When glancing over your enrollment options for electives, you may lay your eyes upon “Entrepreneurship.” While it may seem like a normal, and potentially bland, class, it’s quite the contrary. The class’ impact, freedom to grow, and fun is something extraordinary, and it’s like that because of the program that runs it, Youth Entrepreneurs (YE).

The teacher of YE, Murray Moore, is filled with energy, passion, and a genuine care for his students.

“I believe that YE has a real impact on students no matter their circumstances,” Moore said. “And my goal is to create value for each and every one of them, and that looks very different from student to student. I try to get them actively involved in what we do.”

Like it says on the YE website, “This is not just a business class. Youth Entrepreneurs is an engaging elective course and alumni program that prepares students for success in the workplace and in life.”

“[YE and I] believe, really, that everyone is an entrepreneur at heart,” Jeremiah Adair said, YE’s Topeka Metro area manager. “And YE as a curriculum, it’s adaptable to everyone.”

YE has two main projects: a market day and a business plan competition, which the students have to plan, organize, and execute throughout the year with incentives and rewards being given out to the students who succeed.

One of the successful students this last semester was Tucker McCulloch, junior. He operated a market day stand that sold pancakes, muffins, and best of all, cinnamon rolls. He turned a profit and had a fun, gaining experience while he was at it.

“[Market Day] allowed us to see what running a real business was like, and we got to keep our profit,” McCulloch said. “I learned to be more innovative and to seek out opportunities. I would definitely recommend it.”

McCulloch is not alone with his feelings toward YE. The non-profit organization is built and ran to create those exact results. Moore’s 17 years of teaching has built him quite the reputation of success, and he’s the one who pushes student growth with the help of Adair.

“I love Mr. Moore,” said Tristan Niles, junior. “He’s a fun teacher and he’s really good at getting the kids involved. He makes class fun and educational. He looks at teaching in a unique way.”

“Everything from [Mr. Moore’s] personality is a little bit larger than life; I mean, literally he has a megaphone that he uses to holler at students,” Adair said.“And the great thing about Mr. Moore that I’ve been able to tell is that he cares above all for his students.”

“I leave every project open-ended enough to where kids can own their work and take it in any direction they want,” Moore said. “I’ve seen kids grow to become leaders in their community, and I’ve seen kids open their own businesses. They all just keep plugging; there’s no discouragement, no fear.”

Adair’s job is to manage eight different schools that use YE as their entrepreneurship class. He gives teachers, like Moore, the tools and resources to make their classes as successful and healthy as can be.

“The idea is to make the teacher the hero — to make the teacher the one that the students can look up to,” Adair said. “I like the fact that I have a direct influence in students’ lives.”

With these great people running the show, the class has been full of freedom and success.

“It’s about giving them a freedom to learn for themselves,” Adair said.

“We had a lot of control and opportunity that we don’t have in other classes,” McCulloch said.

Youth Entrepreneurs is a program built for students to succeed, and because of whose hands it’s in, the class of YE is a class of student growth.

“When a kid’s light comes on, and they start recognizing opportunities, and they start opening themselves up to those opportunities, especially when they’re not in their comfort zone, they can grow,” Mr. Moore said. “They leave changed because of YE, and that’s what I teach for.”

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It’s More Than Just a Class — It’s YE.