John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation

Y.E.S. Program Gives Back to Local High School Students

The University of Toledo John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation’s Young Executive Scholars (Y.E.S.) Program kicked off the new school year with a bang at its kickoff event on Tuesday, September 12.  

This dynamic event was designed to welcome both returning and new students into the program, setting the stage for an exciting year ahead. 

This year, the Y.E.S. Program welcomes a diverse group of 33 students ranging from grades 9 to 12,  from Toledo Public School District’s Jones Leadership Academy of Business.

“The program is all about opening doors and shaping the future for the next generation of business leaders,” said Y.E.S. Program director, Craig Turner.

“Through engaging events, inspiring mentors and valuable experiences, we empower our students to seize every opportunity and embark on a path to success beyond the classroom.” 

Valerie Walston, special assistant to the president for community engagement and strategic partnerships at The University of Toledo, brought her contagious energy to the event.  

She encouraged students to seize every advantage the Y.E.S. Program offers.  

Her message resonated with the students, as she highlighted success stories of past participants who secured summer internships and found their path to college, with UToledo becoming an increasingly attractive option. 

The Y.E.S. Program's core objective is college and career readiness, which focuses on showing students exciting opportunities beyond the classroom.  

This exposure includes engaging experiences such as career exploration, employer visits and campus tours and learning experiences. 

Following Walston, the room was electrified when Barb Brotzki, associate lecturer of management in the Neff College of Business and Innovation, took the stage.  

She shared valuable tips and best practices to prepare the students for their upcoming visit to the Neff College’s Fall Job Fair on Sept. 28, where they will have the opportunity to speak with over 100 employers.  

Brotzki covered topics such as the importance of first impressions, confidence, proper introductions and effective business communication. 

Her engaging and humorous style captivated the students while she imparted practical skills that will serve them well in their future careers. 

With a growing cohort of eager students and a variety of enriching experiences on the horizon, the Y.E.S. Program promises to continue to positively impact these young students.

“As the program moves forward, we can't help but feel excited about the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Turner. 

Last Updated: 9/21/23