MARION- Three local middle school students were named winners of a YEScarolina Entrepreneurship School competition held this summer at the Marion County Technical Education Center. The summer program was sponsored by YEScarolina, Rep. Jim Battle (D – Marion), Sen. Kent Williams (Dillon, Florence, Marion, Marlboro), and Francis Marion University’s Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute.
Earning the first place ribbon was Zakira Felder, a seventh grader at Creek Bridge High School. Malasia Ellison, a seventh grader at Johnakin Middle School and Ja’Meilla Mullins, an eighth grader also at Johnakin Middle School were second and third place winners of the three-week enrichment program aimed at teaching students how to start and operate a business, respectively. Each student received a cash prize for participating in the program. The student’s parent or selected mentor was also allowed to participate in the every class session of the pilot program for YEScarolina.
Brianna Zhang, manager of SBI and certified entrepreneurship teacher, taught the program.
Judges for the program were Leo Comissiong, Jr., owner of LLC Insurance of Florence; Paul DeMarco, director of community health programs at FMU; Susan Peters, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and marketing professor at FMU; and Jimmy Bailey, founder of YEScarolina.
Other YEScarolina Entrepreneurship School participants (Johnakin Middle School):
· Malasia Legette
· Moria Person
· JazMyn McCall
· Zachir McCall
FMU’s Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute
In addition to supporting students who are on the entrepreneurial track, the Donald E. Kelley Small Business Institute (SBI) assists small-business owners in the Pee Dee area who are in need of a helping hand to start a business plan. Part of FMU’s School of Business since 1972, the charge of SBI is to teach and support entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic, business and nonprofit communities.
YEScarolina is a nonprofit organization created to offer South Carolina educators the opportunity to utilize curriculum written by acclaimed business teacher Steve Mariotti, founder of NFTE. Through entrepreneurship education, YEScarolina helps young people from communities statewide build skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativity.