For nearly 25 years, the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) Program has been offering local youth the chance to live up to their potential—and churning out college-bound teens from underserved Bay Area schools. For the first time, one YEAH graduate has come full circle, back to Haas as an undergrad.
Palwasha Khatri, BS 15, joined YEAH as a high school sophomore in Alameda and quickly reaped the benefits. Her first year, she competed in a marketing case competition that asked for solutions to boost BART ridership. Her team won with an idea for a rewards card redeemable at local and national retailers, and Khatri discovered a passion for marketing. "I'm majoring in business because of the YEAH Program," she says.
Khatri was accepted into other business programs but had her heart set on Haas, even though she couldn't apply until her sophomore year. “I really appreciated the sense of community that I got when I was at Haas, and I met some great undergrads and MBAs when I was in the program,” Khatri says. “I knew that this was the community I wanted to be in, and it made a huge impact in my decision to come to Berkeley."
A shy teenager, Khatri also credits YEAH with helping her develop the confidence to succeed socially and professionally. She's a resident assistant in the dorms now—something she never would have imagined pursuing—stays in touch with her YEAH mentors and friends, and landed an internship with a social media agency in San Francisco. "Because of the YEAH program, I broke out of my shell and learned how to make my way through the world," she says.
Khatri continues to help with YEAH whenever possible, working with the middle school summer camp, at new-student orientation, and helping seniors with college applications. “The program gave so much to me so it's really nice to be able to give back,” she says.
A full 100 percent of YEAH participants who learn about business, entrepreneurship, and finance from Haas students continue on to higher education—most the first in their families to do so. YEAH grads have attended schools from Columbia to Cal, majoring in a variety of disciplines.