Doing What MATTERS for Small Business

Orange County Students Learn from Teen Entrepreneur at ‘GPS Your Future’ Event

[Pictured: Maryam Ehad-Tally and Professor John Russo; Dr. Cathleen Greiner and Johnny Schillereff]

More than 250 attendees comprised of high school students, faculty, employers and community college representatives gathered to focus on the future of work this month. Students from eight Orange County High Schools got a jumpstart on planning their future careers at the “GPS Your Future” event sponsored by the Business & Entrepreneurship and Global Trade and Logistics sectors.

The event, held April 27 at the Orange County Department of Education, brought together business, CTE, community college faculty, high school instructors, and the following organizations:

  • OC Pathways
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District
  • Santa Ana College
  • International Trade Education Programs (ITEP)
  • Orange County Business Council

“Both entrepreneur keynotes set and summed the theme of the day: find your passion, find your career and ‘out passion’ everyone,” said Cathleen Greiner, Business & Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for Orange County.

The event’s closing speaker was Maryam Edah-Tally, winner of 16/17 Doing What Matters 'Get a Taste of Success' Business Plan Pitch Competition. She was also named Ernst & Young's 2017 Teen Entrepreneur Of The Year. She is 18 and Founder of Fleur À Cheval, an e-commerce business that sells handcrafted floral accessories for horses.

As someone who was in the attendees’ shoes not long ago, Edah-Tally said she appreciated the opportunity to share her story with them.

“Seeing a crowd of young students take the initiative to kickstart their futures is what inspires me to do what I do: M-Power young entrepreneurs,” she said. “I met some bright students and made relationships that I am sure will blossom in the near future. It was an honor to give the closing keynote and share my story as a teen entrepreneur. As I like to say, ‘It’s not what you know and it’s not who you know. It’s who knows YOU.’ The lasting impression you leave is your own unique trademark’”

The day opened with remarks from Johnny Schillereff, CEO and Founder of Element Skateboards and “Orange County Entrepreneur of the Year” award recipient. Seven of the nine community colleges in the region had exhibit tables at the event, along with 20 employers.

Small Business Training and Development
Educators: Industry-Specific Curriculum Development
Students: Education & Career Pathways
Try Our Map Tool