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2022 Kickoff Meeting

Launching the New Start of YES

By: Iris Lee, Jenny Shi, Selina Wang, Catalina Zuo

Welcome to the 2022-2023 year at YES! On August 13, 2022, the Youth Entrepreneur Society held its 5th annual kickoff meeting at the Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel, with over 200 students and parents joining us. YES President Kevin Su opened the meeting by introducing our VIP speakers and guests, including several USCCC Executive Team leaders and YES alumni who have contributed greatly to this organization.

Next, President Kevin Su, Executive VP Catalina Zuo, and VPs Selina Wang, Allison Zhang, and Jiayu Fan introduced YES by detailing the essence of this organization and our goals. With an emphasis on YES’s mission statement, we want new members to be confident in what they are saying YES to.

Following YES’s introduction, Dr. Simon Mak, our keynote speaker, was invited to the floor. Dr. Simon Mak is the Executive Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship and a SMU Cox School of Business professor. In his speech, he highlighted three key call-to-actions for us to remember: to be more entrepreneurial, to not let your plans box you in, and to follow your calling.

His first key point detailed three main characteristics that will bring about entrepreneurial qualities. First, be proactive: it’s crucial to be actively looking for opportunities in the market. To be proactive is to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to happen. Second, be innovative, specifically focusing on personal innovation. Third, be a risk taker; failing is just the act of trying something new, so it is important to take risks in the journey of an entrepreneur, as well as in the path of life.

In his second key point, Dr. Simon Mak described his experience with his former plans and life goals that left him feeling incomplete; instead of focusing on accomplishments, he learned to move forward and focus on the relationships that he valued. While it’s crucial to have goals, do not let them limit you from the wide range of possibilities you may encounter.

Dr. Mak’s last key point entailed the process of following your calling through service. He exemplified this by sharing his own experience in his career path. When he got an offer at SMU, he faced opposition in his personal and professional life. However, he decided to follow his calling to serve others and is now successful in his career. Dr. Simon Mak concluded his speech with one key takeaway: take chances and follow your calling to experience life beyond your imagination.

As we drew near to the close of our kickoff meeting, we gave a warm welcome to our 2022-2023 leadership officers. With their introductions, they officially became a part of the team! We look forward to seeing what amazing things they will accomplish this year!

Lastly, here at YES, we value making every member feel welcomed, so the event planning team organized a few icebreakers to engage members. This included fun games such as Rock-Paper-Scissors tournaments and ‘This or That’ prompts with spontaneous debates. Is cereal a soup? Is water wet? What do you think?

Thank you to everyone who came to our YES kickoff meeting, and we look forward to another great year!

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