The National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation has announced the Tennessee recipients of the 10th annual NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards, including Signal Mountain High School senior Karla Mendez, owner of Karla's Tutoring. The scholarship program designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students.
“It’s hard for anyone to get a small business up and running, but it's even harder when you have homework," said Jim Brown, state director of NFIB/Tennessee. “While some of their classmates were working for someone else, these students were working for themselves," Brown said. "We're very proud of them, and we know they'll do great things."
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award recipients will attend the university, college, community college or vocational/technical institute of their choice with $1,000 to $10,000 in tuition assistance from the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation.
Mendez received the NFIB/Southern Champion Tray Young Entrepreneur Award worth $1,000. Other Tennessee winners include:
NFIB/Tennessee Leadership Council Young Entrepreneur Award ($1,000)
Maryville Christian School senior Jessica Ramsey of Maryville, owner of Honeysuckle Rose Farms
NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award ($1,000)
Brentwood High School senior Chadwick Beahm of Brentwood, owner of Prestigious Clips
Columbia Academy senior Austin Holmes of Columbia, owner of A.J. Holmes Photography
The program was established to raise awareness among the nation's youth about the critical role that private enterprise and entrepreneurship play in the building of America. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded 2,300 scholarships to graduating high school seniors totaling more than $2.5 million.
More than 500 students nationwide applied for a YEF scholarship this year. NFIB is awarding 131 scholarships to young entrepreneurs across the country, thanks to the financial support from numerous small business leaders, corporate and foundation supporters.
During the NFIB Small Business Summit in May, the Young Entrepreneur Foundation will honor five students selected as $5,000 scholarships winners and name, from among the finalists, the “2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year” who will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship.
To qualify for a YEF Award, students must be running their own business. They were required to write an essay describing their entrepreneurial endeavors and future goals. Standardized test scores, GPA, and class rank were also considered in the selection process. NFIB members around the country nominated applicants for the Young Entrepreneur Awards. An independent, outside committee selects a group of qualified semi-finalists.
Learn more about NFIB/Tennessee at www.NFIB.com/Tennessee