Federal Relations

Bright Spots in Home Schooling

July 16, 2003  

Homeschooler Named Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

On May 19, 2003, eighteen top young entrepreneurs were honored at National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship's Tenth Annual Salute to the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards Dinner in New York City. The young entrepreneurs are all graduates of NFTE, an international nonprofit organization that teaches entrepreneurship to young people so they can become economically productive members of society. Each of the students received a cash prize ranging from $750-1000 for their start-up businesses or college education.

One of those winners was Jason Heki, a seventeen year old homeschooler from Iowa. Jason established Green Acres Family Farm, which sells free range eggs to local restaurants. Jason is also writing a book on entrepreneurship as well diversifying into chemical free vegetables.

NFTE holds an annual competition to reward students who have demonstrated entrepreneurial ability. NFTE instituted the competition ten years ago as a way to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs. The organization partners with schools and colleges in order to reach out to students who wish to pursue new ideas in the business field.

"Many neighborhoods are filled with talented children who just need help finding their talents. NFTE's goal is to give young people the skills and confidence to unlock their true potential, so they can improve their lives and their communities," said Steve Mariotti the founder of NFTE.

NFTE's entrepreneurship education program teaches students the business skills they need to start their own small business, while reinforcing basic academic skills.

Barbara Heki, Jason's mother, credits homeschooling for her son's success. "Homeschooling provided freedom to gear Jason's studies to his interests and talents. He was able to pursue his dream. The practical lessons of running a business proved to be a much richer learning environment than the classroom."

Barbara also recognizes God and the Christian community in Jason's achievements. "Jason established strong friendships with other children of good character and strong faith in Christ."

For more information on NFTE's Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award visit: http://www.nfte.com/alumni/awards/

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