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JaKathryn Ross, Executive Director, Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia-Pacific Corporation

JaKathryn Ross finds her job as executive director of Youth Entrepreneurs at Georgia-Pacific Corporation fulfilling. It’s “watching the development of the students and seeing them achieve things that they never thought they would and turning their passion, skills and interests into viable businesses that would generate revenue,” that keeps her motivated.
Six years ago, Youth Entrepreneurs was launched to keep the city’s entrepreneurial spirit and spark alive among high school students. Serving sophomores and juniors primarily, the program is implemented as a credit-bearing, non-elective course in Atlanta Public Schools and the DeKalb County School systems and is taught by Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship certified teachers.
“We cover the various stages and processes of developing a business. We distinguish the difference between an idea and an opportunity. We teach students how to write business plans and prepare them for the National Business Plan Competition,” she says.
“It’s rewarding to see the light bulb come on [and] seeing the business come to life. It’s antidotal to see a young man, like Danny, who sat at the back of the classroom as quiet as a mouse, become a finalist in our regional business plan competition; and to see a young lady like Raven, who thought that her only option after high school was to join the military, open her eyes and see opportunities that a college education bring,” says Ross.
Ross comes from a long line of educators and has an entrepreneurial mind-set. “I want to make sure that the young ladies take advantage of opportunities they have and learn to develop strong working relationships and alliances with each other and take more risks … men are more likely to do so because of their backgrounds in team sports. Women should [not fear the competition],” she encourages. –yvette caslin



1 Comment

  1. JootJoint on October 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    WARNING: Georgia-Pacific Corporation is owed by the Koch Brothers aka Koch Industries! You know the tea party promoters?! America For Prosperity, etc.