What I Learned About Today’s Youth Through Young Entrepreneur Society

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Hello, world! Have you ever heard someone say that teenagers these days are ungrateful? Maybe you heard them say that teenagers these days have a false sense of entitlement? Perhaps you’ve actually said it as well! Whatever the case may be I have finally discovered a whole new perspective on today’s high school aged youth. Over the course of a school year, I had the opportunity to meet some of the brightest teens with the biggest dreams ever through our non-profit organization called Young Entrepreneur Society (YES). In this article, you will learn a new perspective where YES high school students are the next entrepreneurial leaders.

High schoolers are more passionate for entrepreneurship these days.

As we all know, entrepreneurship is not taught in schools on a consistent basis with a curriculum. So with YES coming into the schools, we created a safe place where students can express their goals and dreams for their future. By encouraging our YES students to write down their business ideas or creative ideas in a journal, we have discovered they have TONS of ideas for new products or services that they would bring to the marketplace. Through our guidance, some have written and published their own books, while others have opened up shop at local farmers markets to deliver their services to the market. Also, YES students love the aspect of personal development through books and being more conscious of their circle of influence, which is a pretty big deal when it comes to entrepreneurial success.

High schoolers have bigger dreams than their current situations.

By interacting with the YES students, I began to build up the trust between us. Now they call me, “Auntie Mary.” So because I have that bond with the students, they always open up to me and love to share their goals and dreams with me. While some may see the teens as entitled, I have personally noticed that they have big ideas that they are willing to work for. Some dreams and goals range from materialistic possessions and then as they get deeper into their goals, their goals are more selfless and for their family. Without YES, many of the students don’t tell anyone their goals, and that’s why many times adults cannot relate to them.

High schoolers aren’t in it for the money, but for the impact.

I’m sure we can all agree that money is not the mission or goal, but a vehicle towards our more deep-rooted goals. With that, it also stands true with YES students. Many of the YES students want to help their families. They want to help the homeless or their friends. This was a big eye-opener to me when I always hear adults call the youth entitled. Not from my new perspective. Helping out families, friends, charities, etc. doesn’t sound like a self-entitled youth at all. I know one teen that wants to help out his whole neighborhood’s economy, and that’s his primary goal of what his business will help fund. Isn’t that amazing?!

So, all-in-all, I encourage us all to not be so quick to judge “teenagers these days,” because they genuinely have the dreams, passion, and selflessness to become some of the world’s most impactful leaders.


MARY HANG

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Mary Hang is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. Although she wears multiple hats as an entrepreneur, her biggest and most rewarding passion is impacting the youth through Young Entrepreneur Society.

MyYES.org