The Youth Entrepreneurship Academy (YEA) is a unique program for Hampton Roads youth developed by Visions of Truth
Community Development Corporation (VOTCDC), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.
VOTCDC is passionate about providing non- traditional educational opportunities in interactive ways that engage and
challenge youth, while reinforcing learning. The Youth Entrepreneurship Academy provides the positive programmatic
tools needed to expose students to and guide them through the disciplines, values and business acumen needed to help
put them on the path to success.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Academy was developed to provide an educational experience to students throughout the City of
Portsmouth, Virginia to increase the number of vulnerable young people succeeding in high school, postsecondary education
and training, and the labor market; decrease disparities along key indicators for racial minorities, low income, foster
and court involved youth.
Here's How the Youth Entrepreneurship Academy Works
The Youth Entrepreneurship Academy is a free program available to Portsmouth Public School District students in grades 7-12.
The program offers coursework in math, English/language arts, science and social studies, all of which are carefully aligned
with Virginia state standards to ensure that all students receive rigorous instruction that will result in academic achievement.
YEA's curriculum is based on a solid model developed by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) which
has a proven track record of success in changing the attitudes and career aspirations of middle and high school students.
In addition to its core academic program, YEA offers entrepreneurship education utilizing curriculum developed by the National
Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which has proven effective for more than 280,000 young people across the
country. The unique features of YEA include:
Services available afterschool and during the day.
Strict code of conduct and discipline procedures
Emphasis on the importance of academic skills (reading, writing, research, math, and computer knowledge) through hands-on
exercises such as writing a business plan, conducting market research, balancing books, and creating an inventory database.
Weekly academic assessments and frequent responsive adjustments to individual lesson plans
Presentations by local entrepreneurs and businesspeople from a variety of fields who will speak about how they got started.
Cooperative partnerships with area businesses that create job shadowing and externship opportunities for youth. In job
shadowing, a youth follows an adult on the job for a day. In an externship youth spend a week working at a job site.
Coupled with a rigorous academic program, a strong disciplinary policy, and an entrepreneurial focus, YEA participants
will complete the Youth Entrepreneurship Academy with a business/life plan and that will enable them to return to their
communities and become positive and progressive citizens with entrepreneurial spirits or technical skills.