Orange County Chamber of Commerce Promotes Entrepreneurial Education Initiative

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(Matej Kastelic/kasto -

The Chamber is leader in enhancing, highlighting and optimizing the business interests of the community. This is accomplished through creating a strong local economy by representing businesses, promoting the community and facilitating connections.

Serving as an advocate and a resource, the Chamber provides its members with timely information on economic, legislative and other factors critical to the success of a local business.

This assistance and selection of resources is not limited to established businesses but is available to future O.C. business leaders as well.

A Unique Business Education Program for O.C. Students
Launched by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the Leaders & Entrepreneurs of Orange (L.E.O.) Initiative strives to provide professional guidance, educational workshops and volunteer opportunities to local Orange County college students to help them prepare for life after graduation.

The program also offers many opportunities for professional connections to boost resumes and meet other like-minded students and business owners in Orange County. The L.E.O. Initiative is a program made for students by a current student. With help from established professionals from the Orange Chamber of Commerce, local universities and businesses in the City of Orange, the Chamber is excited to welcome students from Chapman University, Santiago Canyon College and South Coast College to join this workshop series.

The Spark that Led to L.E.O.
“Going through college is a weird experience,” said Joey Lin (Chapman University, Class of 2023). “You’re legally an adult but you’re struggling to learn how to make a doctor’s appointment without asking your parents for help. Since turning 18, I have yet to refer to myself as a real adult and prefer to say ‘partially grown,’ which seems like a fitting term for college life.”

“As a partially grown adult,” added Lin, “there are a lot of responsibilities affecting my future that I know nothing about. From taxes to any kind of insurance, these things exist out of school and out of some households. As someone who grew up in an immigrant household, tasks like these weren’t always easy for my parents and further limited my options for learning. This leaves me here; soon to be 21 years old and still texting my mom to ask if I qualify as “Single” or “Head of Household” on my W-2. As much as I wish I could push aside dealing with expiring health insurance and 2021 tax filings, I know that they’ll still be daunting no matter where I go. To my fellow Gen Zs and anyone who’s just as confused, it’s time to take matters into our own hands!”

From an idea that stemmed from a conversation between Lin and her direct supervisor Connie Chan, the operations manager at the Orange Chamber of Commerce, the foundation for the L.E.O. Initiative began to form with valuable help from James Gerrard of Chapman University and Christine Mantyla of South Coast College, the program’s educational partners.

This workshop program is open to students from Chapman University, Santiago Canyon College and South Coast College. (Information for this article was provided by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce.)