Young Chefs® Academy Experiences Record Growth in Same Store Sales

 Young Chefs® Academy, the nation’s premier children’s cooking school, reported record-breaking sales in 2021, demonstrating strategic success fueled by high consumer demand and strong brand recognition. This past year alone marked the highest revenue increase in the brand’s history.

When compared to 2020, same store sales for the brand climbed by more than 100% in 2021. However, in contrast to pre-pandemic sales in 2019, same-store sales increased by an unprecedented 35%. This trend is tracking to continue as demand for children’s services rise and spending habits for high-quality learning activities expand.

“I’m truly humbled to see my vision (to make a lasting positive impact through teaching the joy and value of cooking) coming to fruition,” states Young Chefs Academy Founder & CEO, Julie Burleson. “This upward trajectory that our franchise owners are experiencing may be surprising to those on the outside looking in; but when you have a support team dedicated day in and day out to franchisees’ profits and providing an exceptional customer experience, coupled with parents who see the value proposition, I’m not surprised.”

The proven business model of Young Chefs® uniquely positions the brand to meet the needs of today’s families by bringing value to the learning adventure through state-of-the-art proprietary curriculum, strong brand recognition, and a unified core of franchise partners dedicated to providing the best possible experience for their customers and the communities in which they live.

Young Chefs Academy’s comprehensive training program and ongoing support equip franchise owners with the necessary tools to create an exciting encounter on a local level. Each touchpoint in the learning experience features a variety of maximum hands-on opportunities where children can explore their creativity while combining built-in S.T.E.A.M.-focused components and activities.

With the focus of quality over quantity, the company’s growth is also attributed to a strong, collaborative network of franchise partners who align with the core values that lead the company culture. This shared passion and commitment to uphold brand standards plays a pivotal role in the organization’s overall success.

The company has plans in 2022 for strategic improvements to support franchise owners in further growth. They plan to refine current media platforms, launch national marketing initiatives, enhance customer offerings, and provide time-saving support on a local level.

“To say I’m excited about the future would be an understatement,” adds Burleson. “YCA has become the expert in teaching kids to cook, through our years of building and perfecting our model. We’ve never wavered from our commitment to bring on franchise owners who embody our Core Values, to become the strong brand we are today. The result is that we can focus our efforts on looking for even more opportunities that add value to our franchisees’ investment that they’ve entrusted to us – something I will never take lightly.”

For more information about franchise opportunities with Young Chefs Academy, please visit

About Young Chefs® Academy

Young Chefs Academy, based in Waco, Texas, is the leading national cooking school franchise for children with more than 30 locations across the nation. YCA™ believes that by presenting a broad culinary curriculum through the Montessori method, each class meets the needs of students at their individual level. Through guided activities that encourage self-discovery and independence, students are free to explore their individual culinary interests as they learn and grow. Its mission is to provide a positive, interactive learning experience that broadens culinary knowledge, builds self-esteem, teaches teamwork, increases worldly knowledge, and encourages appreciation for cultural diversity. The well-rounded curriculum creates a steppingstone to spark interests of future ventures in the minds of every student. For more information about Young Chefs Academy programs and culture, visit

Young Chefs Academy provides driven entrepreneurs the opportunity to join an American movement that is here to stay. Complete with a celebrated curriculum, extensive marketing, operations and real estate support, Young Chefs Academy is on course for nationwide U.S. expansion and accepting candidates throughout the US. To find out how you can own a Young Chefs Academy, inquire about franchising opportunities by visiting

Young Chefs Academy

Shelly Young




  • Franchising

The Young Artist Academy Honors Martin Lawrence & Tiffany Haddish

 Today the Young Artist Academy™ honored two special merit recipients for its 42nd awards gala.

Comic legend and actor Martin Lawrence received the Genius Award. The Genius Award is bestowed on performers who seem to make gold out of everything they touch, displaying a sense of timing and style that audiences crave and are eager to consume; their talent can be described as nothing short of pure Genius. Mr. Lawrence has impacted audiences for decades with his acting, producing and writing. He is known for his roles in projects such as What’s Happening Now!!, Martin, Bad Boys, House Party and Big Momma’s House.

The recipient of the Young Artist Academy’s Inspiration to Youth Award was Tiffany Haddish. She is an Emmy Award-winning actress and a Grammy Award-winning artist. Ms.Haddish has truly inspired this generation – young and old alike – through her acting roles, comedy and her unique, unabashed and unashamed style that comes from the heart. She is known for her roles in Girls Trip, Like a Boss, Keanu and The Last O.G. Presenting this award to Ms. Haddish was Hip-Hop artist J French (Jaguar French). French is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer, known in the rap community for his honest messages that cut to the heart of world issues and social dilemmas.

Previous Young Artist Academy Honorees Include:

Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Lionel Richie, River Phoenix, Gary Sinise, Mayim Bialik, Drew Barrymore, Melissa Joan Hart, Bill Nye, Martin Sheen, Mario Lopez, Chuck Berry, George Clooney, Sir Patrick Stewart, Brooke Shields, Trevor Noah, Mark Cuban and Will Smith.

Young Artist Academy™ Executive Producer Simon Barron said: “For over 40 years the Young Artist Academy™ has been preparing young stars for the real world of entertainment, by teaching members and their parents important industry skills and success-tips. Through monthly newsletters, workshops, virtual networking events, press training, hosting opportunities, and mentoring sessions, the organization is equipping the next generation with what they need to succeed. We also endeavor to instill core values such as communication art, equality, diversity, and kindness. The results have been phenomenal! We’re proud to have watched so many of our young artists become the successful, professional A-list talent of today. The 42nd Awards has proved to be a memorable occasion for our entire international audience!”

The 42nd Young Artist Academy™ awards look-live digital show streamed on YouTube Premieres and Frudy TV, Saturday, November 6 at 4:00 PM PST, and will be rebroadcast with winners speeches and special guests on VivaLiveTV.

Ticket holders had VIP access to a virtual Red Carpet Pre-show + VIP Member Lounge, allowing guests opportunities to interact with fellow attendees during the awards show with video, messaging, trivia and games.

Young Artist Academy YouTube Channel

About The Young Artist Academy™

Founded in 1978 by Golden Globes Executive Maureen Dragone, the Young Artist Academy™ is committed to educating, protecting and mentoring young artists through digital and events. The nonprofit 501(c)(3) produces Hollywood’s first and longest-running youth awards.

The organization welcomed a new administration in 2017; it remains a leader in compliance and a champion of child entertainer rights/protections (Coogan Law, Child Performer Protection Act, Sight & Sound Mandates, Krekorian Talent Services Bond).

Affectionately called the “Youth Oscars” by Huffington Post, it is Hollywood’s only youth academy structured the same as larger awards organizations, with Membership and Peer Voting.

The Young Artist Academy™ recognizes exceptional international talent ages 5-18, competing in separate Young and Teen categories for fairness. Adult talent and alumni are also recognized with special merit awards for making a meaningful world/entertainment impact, especially on younger generations. In recent years, new categories of recognition have been added, including Outstanding Director, Writer, Producer, Vocalist/Music/Video, Dancer and Influencer.

AMB Publicity

Andre Marcel




  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Events & Concerts
  • Movies & Film
  • Music
  • Philanthropy & Non-profit
  • Television

Young Advocates Call for a Stop to Tourette Syndrome Stereotypes

 It’s not a joke. It’s not a punchline. It’s not an excuse. Those are the refrains from four Youth Advocates who live with Tourette Syndrome, a neurobiological disorder characterized by uncontrollable movements or vocalizations known as tics. The disorder is often portrayed in movies or TV as a joke, used by those with a platform as an excuse for misbehavior, or is faked on social media for attention.

“We felt it was time to make a statement about Tourette Syndrome and what it really is,” said NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) Executive Director Patricia Phillips. NJCTS created the series of PSAs with the help of production company Grey Sky Studios out of Rockaway. “In the last few years we have seen celebrities, politicians and even those in the news media use TS as a joke or an insult. Then there are those on social media who fake tics to get views and likes. Our kids and adults with TS deserve better than having people use a disorder they struggle with on a daily basis as fodder to gain laughs.”

The participants in the PSAs have all been outspoken advocates for NJCTS who have given presentations to students, teachers, law enforcement, and medical professionals in the past as part of the organization’s Youth Development program.

Jenna Smith, 18, of Scotch Plains believes more people need to be educated about TS. “One of the hardest things about having TS is feeling or being misunderstood,” the Duke University freshman said. “If we can take the time to educate people, I think they would be more empathetic to the situation and less likely to use TS as the butt of a joke.”

Jenna was joined by Dominic Dominguez, 19, of Bloomfield; Paige Kowalski, 18, of Plainsboro; and Mateo Acevedo, 15, of Belleville. The teens are aware of the increased use of tics on platforms like TikTok. While some on TikTok use the social media channel to bring awareness to the disorder, others use it to fake tics for attention.

“It’s not right to fake tics, bully others, or make fun of Tourette,” said Acevedo, a high school student. “And it’s not an excuse for someone else’s bad behavior.”

As many as 1 in 100 people show signs of TS or other tic disorder but many times go undiagnosed. Dominquez points out that it’s not just tics. “Every person with TS is different and fight their own battles. I was so depressed that I couldn’t get out of bed for months,” he recounted. In fact, more than 86% of those with the disorder also struggle with associated disorders such as ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and depression.

The PSAs can be seen on the NJCTS YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook and website. The TS community and others are encouraged to share them to spread the word. Visit to learn more.

The NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders, the nation’s first Center for Excellence for Tourette Syndrome, is a not-for-profit organization committed to the advocacy of children and adults with Tourette Syndrome and its associated disorders. Dedicated to delivering high quality services to these individuals, NJCTS recognizes the importance of educating the community, medical professionals, and teachers about the disorder. Visit for more information.


Doreen Pustizzi




  • Children & Youth
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Disability
  • Lifestyle
  • Mental Health
  • Neurology
  • Parenting
  • Philanthropy & Non-profit
  • Social Media

Steven Young Joins Spirit of Wales Distillery from Boom Battle Bars

 The Spirit of Wales Distillery in South Wales is thrilled to announce that new hire, Steven Young, will be their Brand Ambassador in August 2021 after leaving Boom Battle Bars.

Steven Young’s career in hospitality has only been on the up and up since 2006 when he joined a 2-star coach hotel as a server. His love for people and hospitality really came to the fore and soon he became a Duty Manager at the Atlantic Hotel.

After Steven moved to Barry, he started working at the Twenty Ten Golf Clubhouse venue at the 5-star Celtic Manor in Wales in 2013. At Twenty Ten his love for people and food and beverage really stood out, and he soon became a Chef de Rang, serving Royals, Presidents, and VIPs. Not long after, they made him the Food and Beverage Supervisor at Celtic Manor.

Steven next took on the role of Supervisor at Thistle in Cardiff, before becoming the Bar Supervisor at the High-end Cardiff wine bar and steakhouse, Pier64, in 2005. It was at Pier64 that he became a UK finalist in a cocktail competition hosted by Patron Tequila.

For the next four years, Steven would be a finalist in cocktail competitions, including those held by Nikka Perfectionist and Licor 43. Steven also moved from Pier64 to Academy Espresso Bar in 2017, where he would oversee the opening of 3 new Academy Espresso Bars in Barry and Cardiff over the next 3 years.

Boom Battle Bars, which opened their first adventure bar in the UK and quickly grew to become a national franchise, approaching Steven in 2020 and he became their National Training and Development Manager. One of his responsibilities was to form and develop their national cocktail menu.

In 2021, Steven left Boom Battle Bars to become a new hire as The Spirit of Wales Distillery’s Brand Ambassador, and we at Spirit of Wales Distillery couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on the team.

The Spirit of Wales Distillery looks forward to having Steven join the team. Steven starts in his new role at the Spirit of Wales Distillery on the 2nd of August 2021 and is excited to share the Newport-made gins, vodkas, and rums. He brings strong communication skills to the table and a passion for hospitality. Steven is available at

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About the Spirit of Wales Distillery

Formed in October 2020, the Spirit of Wales Distillery is a Welsh spirits producer, in Newport, South Wales. Proud of its origins, and taking inspiration from their environment and the passionate people of Wales, they have already won three awards for their Steeltown Welsh Dry Gin and Dragon’s Breath Spiced Welsh Rum. Unlike other vodkas, they filter their Steeltown Welsh Vodka through anthracite from Ammanford. Find the perfect pairing with Fever-Tree Mixers and Tonics or delight in the Spirit of Wales chocolate pairings to match each of their premium Welsh Spirits.

For more press information, please contact:

Daniel Dyer, from “The Spirit of Wales Distillery”: +44 01633 965035 or email Claudette de Chermont at

Spirit of Wales Ltd.

Daniel Dyer




  • Personnel Announcements

Hong Kong – Young persons in custody sit for HKDSE Examination for self-enhancement (with photos)

Young persons in custody sit for HKDSE Examination for self-enhancement (with photos)


     Seven young persons in custody enrolled in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination this year have enriched themselves to prepare for further studies or employment after their release.

     The results of the HKDSE Examination were released today (July 21). Seven young persons in custody from Pik Uk Correctional Institution (PUCI) and Lai King Correctional Institution, who took a total of 37 examination papers, obtained level 2 or above in 28 papers, or 75.7 per cent of all papers taken. One of them has acquired 16 marks, which met the general entrance requirements for local universities, while another candidate scored the highest result, with 19 marks overall in six subjects.

     The exams sat included the four core subjects of Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies as well as the two electives of Economics and Tourism and Hospitality Studies.

     The Correctional Services Department (CSD) has provided the education needed to help young persons in custody below 21 years to gain accredited qualifications and develop positive values towards furthering their studies, finding jobs and reintegrating into society after release. 
     A 19-year-old candidate at PUCI scored 19 marks overall in the six papers taken. He originally planned to study in a foreign country before being taken into custody. He was sentenced to jail after committing a crime. When first entering custody, he felt at a loss and had the idea of giving up his studies. Thanks to the encouragement of his parents and teachers afterwards, he decided to study the New Senior Secondary curriculum and found his goal in life. Although he only obtained level 2 in English Language, which cannot meet the general entrance requirement for local universities, he has not given up and is planning to take the English Language and Mathematics Extended Part exams next year to increase his chances to study overseas after release.
     Another 17-year-old candidate had dropped out of school in Form 2. He was sent to the training centre for committing a crime. Seeing that his parents travelled a long way to visit him every week and did not give up on him, he felt very guilty and thus became determined to make a change. He hoped to enhance his knowledge and equip himself by studying the New Senior Secondary curriculum. Although his exam results were not satisfactory, he knows that what he has learned and his efforts during his training have not been in vain. He is keen on cooking and hopes to pursue a career in the hotel and catering industry after graduation, striving hard at work to show gratitude to his parents.