V.I. participants in the YES business plan competition Nabeelah Bougouneau, first row from left, Evan Fahie, Nathaniel Joseph,top row from left, chaperone T. Smith-Rabsatt, Iris Sambolin arrive at the welcome ceremony at The Palms at Pelican Cove on St. Croix.

The YES (Young Entrepreneurz Solutions) youth business program competition was hosted Nov. 4 at The Palms at Pelican Cove on St. Croix.

Founded by Rutgers University adjunct professor and entrepreneur Ernest Ruffin Jr., the nonprofit organization aims to teach entrepreneurship skills to children in grades six through 12 and young men and women in urban areas nationwide so they can become business owners themselves.

After Ruffin, with the help of chaperone T. Smith-Rabsatt, taught children from the VIPD PAL Summer Camp to create a business plan during a five-day workshop, they competed against each other. The winners then entered into the national YES competition and placed second.

The Virgin Islands team included Evan Fahie, Nabeelah Bougouneau, Iris Sambolin, Nathaniel Joseph and Noradeen Ritter.

“I am very happy to have won second place,” said Sambolin. “I will get them next year.”

Members of the V.I. Police Department’s Crime Prevention Bureau took time out to work hand in hand with the children to make sure they were ready to compete and were also comfortable.