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UF Summer Program Aims to Build Entrepreneurship Skills

At the Florida Chamber, we believe a talented workforce is Florida’s best long-term economic development strategy. Florida’s capacity to train for future skills, knowledge and certifications is essential to making Florida more competitive. To help in that arena, the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) is hosting their 9th Annual Pre-College Summer Program for High School Students: UF Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Program.
“We believe –much like the Florida Chamber does- that students are the keys to success both in the future and today,” said Dr. Kristin Joos, Director of the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). “CEI’s Young Entrepreneurs for Leadership & Sustainability (YELS) Summer Program is the first & only summer program focused on Social Entrepreneurship. Students learn how to use the skills and strategies of business to innovatively and sustainably solve social, environmental, and economic problems. We aim to educate, inspire, and empower students to become change makers. Each summer, YELS students engage in hands on learning experiences, so that they see themselves as leaders, working together to support their communities and building a vibrant Florida economy.”


Students are challenged to think critically about society from an entrepreneurial perspective- helping them gain insight into topics such as entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and sustainability. The five-week program, geared for college-bound high school juniors and seniors, involves participation in two college-level courses and 75+ hours of community service. Of the classes, former participant Moriah Lavey says, “These classes will give students a leg up once they get to college, as they have had to utilize time management and study skills that are unlike those used in high school.”


At the Florida Chamber, we believe in empowering students to become globally competitive. Programs like UF’s YELS summer program help to prepare students and meet talent gaps that businesses face with a changing population.


Detailed information, including the application materials and scholarship applications are available at: Applications are due March 1. If you have any questions or concerns, contact

Written in collaboration with Dr. Kristin Joos, Director at the University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)


Save The Date:

The Florida Chamber Foundation will host an Education and Philanthropy Summit on June 9. Save the date and please keep a look out for more information. For questions or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tracey Lowe at


Share Your Story:

If you know of other Florida focused programs for entrepreneurs entering college, let us know! Email and your story could appear in our next Chamber Insider.

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