YBA hosts 30th anniversary sessions Youth Business Adventure (YBA) recently completed its 30th anniversary sessions, hosting 187 high school seniors, along with educators and business executives from across the state of South Dakota during two week-long sessions. The first session was held at Black Hills State University in Spearfish while the second session was held at Dakota State University in Madison. Local participants included Emma Getzin, Ryan Kost, Lacey Leichtnam and Kristen Schwasinger from Vermillion High School. Barb Cole, USD manager of employment services office, served as a volunteer business mentor (company advisor) at the BHSU session. "YBA was a beneficial learning experience. My favorite speaker was Mark Nelsen who spoke about entrepreneurship. Even though I do not plan to major in business, this program was valuable to expand my business knowledge and prepare me for college," said Getzin. At YBS, the students and educators gained vital information about the business world from those who work and live in that world, the business executives, "company advisors" and volunteer speakers. They also had the opportunity to gain college credit for their participation in the YBA sessions. In addition, the scheduled included a tour of area businesses, Spearfish Forest Products and Dan Diego's Tortilla Factory in Spearfish and Falcon Plastics, Inc. and East River Electric Cooperative in Madison. Companies competed in a business management simulation, a business quiz bowl, produced a one-minute TV commercial, designed a company logo, participated in a problem solving activity, and presented business plans before a panel of volunteer judges. Students also were entertained with evening activities of bowling, swimming and a dance. "YBA was a positive experience for me because it stressed the most important part of business; making connections with people," said Kost. Since its inception in 1980, Youth Business Adventure 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. Local sponsors include the Vermillion Civic Council and CorTrust Bank. "I love YBA! I go to meet a lot of new people who quickly became friends, and learned so much about business. This camp has helped me decide that I would like to do something in business later in life. It was a great experience," Leichtnam said. Preparations are currently underway for the 31st annual sessions of the Youth Business Adventure program. The first session will be held at Black Hills State University June 6-11, 2010, and the second at Dakota State University in Madison, June 20-25, 2010. "I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to attend YBA. It was a great, fast-paced week that taught me many new business strategies, I heard many excellent speakers, including keynote David Williamson, took part in many group activities, and had the chance to meet new friends. I believe everyone should have the same opportunity as I did," said Schwasinger. The daily newsletters from both 2009 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. For further information about Youth Business Adventure, contact local participants, or call the YBA office a 1-800-742-8112.