A Summer Camper’s Story

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The following post was written by a young lady who attended our summer camp.  She asked our staff if she could share her story through our blog, and we enthusiastically agreed!  Read about her incredible experience in her own words here.

Sonya Zakarian, a Be Your Own Boss summer camper

Sonya Zakarian, a Be Your Own Boss summer camper

Greetings to all readers of this blog!  My name is Sonya Zakarian, an amazed student of this summer’s BYOB – Be Your Own Boss – camp at Young Americans Center.

I started this camp wanting to be the boss of my own business.  I was fervently brainstorming ideas, discussing them with my family, and adding on to them myself. I like the feeling of being in charge as a kid.  I had an exciting idea for a business, and was looking for someone to teach me how to lift my idea off the ground and get it rolling down the hill of entrepreneurship.  The BYOB camp gave me beyond what I needed and I got the feeling that if I wanted to do something bad enough, I should definitely give it a try.

What I learned

Of the many things I learned here at BYOB camp, I was astonished by a few of them.  I was amazed to hear that Young Americans Bank is just for kids and that the young business owners they work with are so successful. I was also surprised to learn how early you can become your own boss – some business licenses or permits may not require a certain age.

If I knew someone around my age that was thinking about starting his or her own business, I would certainly have a handful of advice from what I learned at the camp.  First of all, get the right information. Finding an expert in your area would be a good idea.  For example, I may be starting an online writing business, so I would consider talking to several professionals in writing and maybe web design.  Young Americans is also extremely helpful when you’re trying to find a place to start.  Second, try to keep your thoughts organized.  Write out a business plan.  Keep a business notebook and an event calendar.  Ask yourself: who is your target market?  How would you market or advertise your business?  Where would your business be located?  Most importantly, take action.  If you keep saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow” then tomorrow will never come.  Take initiative to go out, plan, and have fun with your ideas!

Another thing I loved was the whole experience with other kids.  It was great to make new friends and learn about their ideas.

Finishing up

And, of course, one of the best parts of camp was the Business Expo at the end of the week.  Kids get half a table to themselves to set up and spend the next hour shining in their own special way!  As I am a “words” person, I really enjoyed talking about my business and discussing my ideas.  Even for people who dislike speaking, I think it’s a great way to display your thoughts.

I was so sad to be leaving camp at the end of the week, I felt like I couldn’t talk.  Now I am excitedly planning what other fun activities I can attend at Young Americans.

Even for kids not wanting to seriously engage in business, I would still absolutely recommend this camp.  There’s nothing better than an outdoor lunch every day on the grass, fun in-between games, and daily snacks.

Once again, a very special thanks to the Young Americans and their wonderful BYOB camp!


Sixth grader Sonya Zakarian enjoys writing, reading, rereading (actually more than reading), talking, family time, rain, being in charge, and all Lego products.  When she’s not typing up a storm on the computer or buried into a book, she plays with Legos with her little brother or chats with her little sister.  She’s always had that entrepreneurship as a younger kid, such as lemonade stands and opening an art gallery for her parents, and now she is taking bigger business into consideration. She bakes banana bread with her family sometimes, but otherwise she’s no cook extraordinaire.  For quite some time the top three careers she sees for herself are a writer, actress, and doctor.  

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