Six WCSD high school students, grads admitted to summer program to develop entrepreneurs

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Six incoming high school seniors and recent graduates at Westerville City Schools will spend the summer connecting with local tech startups and learn what it takes to start their own businesses.

Through the YEP Columbus (Young Entrepreneurs Program), students will develop skills that focus on entrepreneurial thinking and development through practical experience. As part of the eight-week internship program, students will receive compensation and a college scholarship. 

The majority of the YEP scholars admitted to the summer program hail from Westerville South and Westerville North high schools. 

“Throughout my time in this program, I hope to learn the foundational skills of being an entrepreneur,” said Noah Olsen, who graduates from WNHS on Saturday.  

“I want to narrow down what parts I enjoy and what parts I want to stay away from. I want to get as much advice and knowledge as I can this summer so that I set my future up in the best way possible. 

Olsen plans to attend Columbus State Community College in the fall before transferring to the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. 

Nicholas Crone, an incoming senior at WSHS, is excited at the variety of businesses he could work through the program. He could learn about the venture capital industry with Drive Capital, gain a unique perspective on the real estate market through Rhove and get insight on the e-commerce industry through Loop.

“Being admitted into YEP gave me confidence successful entrepreneurs felt that I belong in the field with them,” said Crone, who hopes to eventually start his own business or work for a start-up. 

Abdul Ismael, an incoming senior at WSHS, is looking forward to creating connections and learning from local business leaders.

“Through YEP, I hope to learn how to lead diligently, learn how to access my network, learn how to make better use of my time, and expand my leadership experience,” said Ismael, who plans to study biomedical engineering on a premed track at Ohio State University. He wants to become an anesthesiologist and hopes to start a business in his field.

Ama Oppong-Brago, who graduates from WSHS on Saturday, is interested in creating cosmetics inclusive of all different skin tones. Through YEP, she hopes to learn from businesses that specialize in analyzing consumers.

“When I found out that I’d been admitted I was so excited because I see my future falling into place,” she said. “I want to be an entrepreneur and I’m so glad that I’m getting the opportunity to learn from an established one right out of high school.”

Other students admitted into the program include incoming WSHS senior Alena Keenan and Xiaowen Li, who graduates from WSHS on Saturday.