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Young Entrepreneurs Program mentors Providence high school students

YEP! hosts entrepreneurship informational session during recent College Day at Brown

<p>Young Entrepreneurship Program also hosts high school pitch nights in which high schoolers present business plans to a panel of judges. This year’s Pitch Night will be held May 3.</p><p></p><p>Courtesy of Emma Pearlman</p>

Young Entrepreneurship Program also hosts high school pitch nights in which high schoolers present business plans to a panel of judges. This year’s Pitch Night will be held May 3.

Courtesy of Emma Pearlman

Last Thursday, Providence high school students participated in an informational session on entrepreneurship hosted by the Brown chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Program chapter. 

YEP! is “an entirely free entrepreneurship program for local high school students in college towns,” according to its website. Founded at Brown in 2019 in collaboration with the Nelson Center of Entrepreneurship, YEP! has since opened chapters at Yale, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles.

At Brown, YEP! mentors get involved with the Providence community by working with local high schoolers on developing their entrepreneurial skills. “We run a semester-long program where we help (high schoolers) build their own business ideas, and then they eventually pitch them to a panel of judges,” explained Emma Pearlman ’25, marketing and design lead for YEP!

Last week, YEP! presented to Providence high school students who were visiting the University as part of College Day at Brown, organized by Brown’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform. During College Day, high school students had the opportunity to attend informational sessions on various fields of study. YEP! represented on business and entrepreneurship during the program, Pearlman said.


Throughout YEP!’s session, high school students participated in group activities aiming to introduce them to entrepreneurship, said Meg Henning ’25, YEP!’s school engagement lead.

“We help people within our community,” said Ruth Yinka-Banjo ’26, a YEP! Mentor, adding that she has enjoyed giving back while exploring business and entrepreneurship.

Yinka-Banjo believes that YEP! provides a unique opportunity for high school students to gain knowledge that is applicable to many fields, even if they are not interested in business or entrepreneurship specifically. “Business cuts across all sectors,” she said.

In addition to hosting a session during College Day, YEP! has previously hosted Pitch Nights, during which high school participants present business ideas developed throughout the semester to a panel of judges. In past years, judges have included Brown students, professors and local entrepreneurs, according to Pearlman. This semester’s Pitch Night will take place May 3.

Leading up to Pitch Night, Brown student mentors guide the high school participants in developing their pitches, practicing their public speaking skills and creating their presentations. Previous business ideas have centered on improving the environment, education and mental health.

“It’s really inspiring at the end of the whole process to see them talking in front of a large group of people, being so passionate about their ideas,” Pearlman said. Students come “out of the program with a newfound sense of confidence and general knowledge of entrepreneurship.”


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