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Meet Chas

Youth Entrepreneurs teaches Chas Malone to value education and convinces him to pursue a college career.

YE educator sees potential: For Chas Malone, life at Topeka High School was one big social event.

“I didn’t take school seriously,” he recalls.

That didn’t stop Murray Moore from taking Chas seriously. Moore, Chas’ business teacher, saw potential in the sophomore (2013) and encouraged Chas to enroll in his YE class. As odd as it seemed for Chas to voluntarily enroll in another business class, he found himself doing what Moore requested.

“There was something special about Mr. Moore,” Chas said. “Kids respected him. When he took interest in you, it was genuine.”

Soon, Chas found himself inspired by other YE students, who saw entrepreneurship as an opportunity to change their lives.

“I was inspired to network and get involved with local businesses,” he said. “I met a lot of people who are driven to succeed, and I still talk with many of them about life and business plans to this day.”

YE presents once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Fast-forward two years. Chas was a sophomore at the University of Kansas when opportunity knocked on his dorm room door. Chas and two of his YE friends from high school applied to be on a live television show called Make48, which airs nationally on PBS. After applying, the group interviewed with the Make48 team and was accepted for a chance to compete and put their YE knowledge to use.

The show pits teams from across the country in a 48-hour invention contest. The goal: Create a business plan from scratch and present it for an opportunity to win prizes and maybe licensing consideration.

Chas and his friends, who would join him on the show, often dreamed up new businesses in their dorm room. The contest was like going to the Super Bowl of big ideas. Only this time, they’d have to bring those ideas to life.

“Being able to create a business and see your business come to life off the paper was something I loved,” he said.

The team created the Handihanger: a hook with a rubber attachment that sticks on surfaces around the house to hold various items.

Chas’ team didn’t win the competition, but they did walk away with two of the greatest gifts YE could give them: experience and connections.

Sharing his YE mindset: After transferring universities, Chas is now a junior at K-State, pursuing a degree in organizational communication.

“Without YE educators, I may not have gone to college,” he said. “It was so cool to see them go out of their way to give a student like me attention. Even though I am no longer in their classrooms, I apply what my YE mentors taught me every day.”

On campus, he lives to share what he has learned, especially the YE Foundational Value of Being Principled.

“When I graduate, I want to serve as an example to others that if you work hard, you can go anywhere,” he said. “It just takes that first push from a mentor or a teacher and a leap of faith.”

Feeling inspired to bring YE curriculum to your students? Through YE Academy, get the resources and interactive curriculum you need to get started in your classroom today.