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Six Ascension parish students to launch businesses through BASF contribution


BASF donated $5,000 to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy of Baton Rouge (YEA BR) to support six aspiring business founders from Ascension Parish public schools. Under instruction of the Louisiana State University E.J. Ourso College of Business, an annual cohort of 29 local high school students gain skills and generate ideas to start their own businesses.

“Developing an entrepreneurial mindset will not only help students become business owners, but it will also prepare them for success in the workplace,” said Jerry Lebold, Senior Vice President and General Manager of BASF’s Geismar site. “When we look at hiring employees, skills and experience that demonstrate innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit are of critical importance.”

YEA BR offers a unique program to participants by combining a proven national curriculum with the experiences of greater Baton Rouge area business leaders, educators, community members, and entrepreneurs.

“With BASF’s support, we are able to increase our impact and unlock the potential of young, aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Deborah Sternberg, Chair of YEA BR’s steering committee. “Investing in our students is good for the community, and it is good for business.”

Ascension Parish high school students participating in the YEA BR program during the 2019-2020 school year are:

  • Madison Cooper, 11th grade, Dutchtown High School
  • Cara Echols, 9th grade, East Ascension High School
  • Erin Fleming, 12th grade, East Ascension High School
  • Josiah Helaire, 11th grade, East Ascension High School
  • Michael Malone, 10th grade, Dutchtown High School
  • Skyler Stewart, 10th grade, St. Amant High School

“Ascension Parish students are fortunate to have this opportunity to become true entrepreneurs while still in high school,” said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. We are grateful to have tremendous business and industry support of our schools, particularly from BASF, who not only values education but also invests in the future of our parish and state through programs like this.”

BASF’s support of YEA BR is part of the company’s community outreach and a comprehensive workforce development effort in Louisiana.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 20,000 employees in North America and had sales of $19.7 billion in 2018. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

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