Newton High School student Evan Kaufman beat out enterprising young hopefuls from across the state to place first in the Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas (YEK) 2008 Business Plan Competition.


Newton High School student Evan Kaufman beat out enterprising young hopefuls from across the state to place first in the Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas (YEK) 2008 Business Plan Competition.

Kaufman was recognized during the YEK annual Dreams to Dividends awards ceremony on May 15 at the 20th Century Center in Wichita. During the ceremony, YEK awarded a total of $9,100 in venture capital grants to students for their business ideas, the largest prize being the $1,000 received by Kaufman.

YEK also rewarded its graduates’ hard work and creativity with $43,000 in scholarships. Newton alumnus Chanda Couch, a 2006 graduate, received a $1000 scholarship.

To graduate from YEK, each student must complete a viable business plan, in addition to many other classroom requirements. Students presented their business ideas in their classrooms, with the top student from each class advancing to the regional competition. Kaufman and the other winners, who were announced during the ceremony, received venture capital grants which can be used to start or continue their business or applied to post-secondary education expenses.

Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas (YEK) is a non-profit organization which teaches business and entrepreneurial skills in high school classrooms. YEK is in all public high schools in Wichita, Augusta High School, Newton High School, Clearwater High School, Campus High School in Haysville, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Topeka High School, Highland Park High School in Topeka, Lawrence High School, and four Kansas City, Kansas high schools. Since its establishment in 1991 by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, more than 8,000 students have graduated from the program. YEK is a licensed program of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, based in New York.