Youth Business Adventure hosts area participants

Youth Business Adventure hosts area participants Youth Business Adventure (YBA) recently completed its 25th anniversary sessions, hosting 270 high school seniors, educators and business executives from across the state during two week-long sessions. The first session was held at Black Hills State University in Spearfish while the second session was held at The University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

Local participants included Jeanie Stockland from Wakonda High School, and Brad Schaack and Jason Welk from Vermillion High School. Vermillion educators Marlys Larson, Barbara Rickord, and Barb Schwartz and Elk Point-Jefferson educator Sandy Mockler also participated in the YBA program. Pat Wingen of AaLadin Industries, Inc. in Elk Point, is chair of the YBA Advisory Board and served as campus chair for the USD session.

During the week, the students and educators gained vital information about the business world from those who work and live in that world, the business executives of "company advisors." Both educators and students also had the opportunity to gain college credits for participation in the YBA sessions.

"My favorite part of YBA was meeting new people. YBA gave me a taste of the business world. It also helped me decide what area of business I am most interested in. I really enjoyed every aspect of YBA. Living in the dorm for a week gave me a chance to see what college living might be like," Shaack said.

Since its inception in 1980, YBA has been sponsored by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, a statewide business organization located in Pierre. The program is completely funded through contributions from generous South Dakota business, corporate, and individual sponsors.

"YBA is a great program. I learned a lot about the business world and enjoyed getting to meet other seniors from across South Dakota," Welk said.

In addition to speakers on many aspects of the business world, a tour of an area business, and a management simulation, the week included competition in a Business Quiz Bowl, production of one minute TV commercials, participation in a problem solving activity, and presentations of business plans made by the individual companies before a panel of judges.

"I had a really great time at YBA. This is a great program that leaves you with a great outlook on life and business," Stockland said.

Students also were entertained with evening activities of bowling, swimming, a dance, and attendance at a performance by the Dakota Baroque and Classical Company, a musical ensemble at the Shrine to Music in Vermillion.

"Youth Business Adventure allows students to experience business education at a whole new level. The speaker, simulations and hand-on learning experiences are challenging and foster creativity in students. Students come away with a clearer understanding of the business world," Schwartz said.

Preparations are currently underway for the 26th annual sessions of the Youth Business Adventure program in June 2005. The daily newsletters from both 2004 campuses and closing slide shows can be found on the YBA Web site www.yba-sd.org, along with more information about the YBA program.

"YBA is a very educational week that brings together business, teachers and high school juniors to simulate the business environment. It is an outstanding learning experience," Larson said.

"YBA was a wonderful learning experience. We are fortunate to have so many talented and bright student in South Dakota. It was fun to work with them," Rickord said.

For further information about Youth Business Adventure, contact the local participants, or call the YBA office at 1-800-742-8112.

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