The Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County has awarded $24,000 in college scholarships to participants in its Youth Learning Economics and Appreciating Diversity program.
Students in the free YLEAD program work in teams to create a business and marketing plan, write a budget, develop a product, and generate revenues. Collectively, students also create a best practices guide for future small business owners in the community.
The Urban League awarded $18,000 in scholarships to nine youth entrepreneurs in the YLEAD program. Another $6,000 was awarded to the youth business team earning the second highest amount.
YLEAD is intended to improve the financial ability of inner city youth to attend college. It teaches middle school students entrepreneurship skills through mentors, research and implementation.
A grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board and a partnership with Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass make the program possible, according to Urban League officials.
"All children have the right to pursue higher learning, but not all have the financial capacity to make it a reality," said P.G. Peeples Sr., president and CEO of the Urban League. "We want to equip them for success."