At 16, Kirk Schrier and Josh Barranco are already living their version of the American Dream. The Nunda High School juniors have both started their own businesses and are well on their way to becoming success stories.

At 16, Kirk Schrier and Josh Barranco are already living their version of the American Dream. The Nunda High School juniors have both started their own businesses and are well on their way to becoming success stories.



Both young men went through the Young Entrepreneurs Academy this past year. YEA is a year-long class that teaches middle and high school students the foundation of starting a business.



The academy guides the students through formulating a business idea, writing a business plan and eventually launching their own business.



Schrier’s oldest brother, John Johnson, went through the academy as well. After completing YEA, Johnson started Running Wild Paintball Inc. in Nunda. Schrier and his other brother, Ben, were a crucial help in the beginning and operation of Running Wild Paintball, Johnson said.



After completing the YEA, Schrier has started Running Wild Laser Tag. Schrier used the space he had and added outdoor laser tag.



Barranco, with help from his friend Tim Fanaro, started OMG T-shirts. Fanaro had used the phrase which stuck with Barranco, and after going through YEA, Barranco started the company. The pair have already patented the phrase and set up a shirt provider.



Having both known they wanted to enter the business field, attending the academy was a perfect start for Barranco and Schrier, they said.



With the Keshequa Central School’s business department falling victim to budget cuts, Barranco and Schrier see the importance of sending other students to YEA.



“The Young Entrepreneurs taught us to run and own a business,” they said. “We want others to experience that.”



The pair has set up a fundraiser, with help of the Nunda Rotary Club, to help raise money for a Nunda High School student’s YEA tuition money.



One year of the academy costs $1,000 per student. Barranco and Schrier hope to raise the full tuition for at least one student, but wouldn’t mind helping a few others.



“If we had our way, we’ll be sending more,” said Doris March of the Nunda Rotary Club.



Barranco and Schrier will be raising money by, what else, their businesses. Running Wild Laser Tag will be open Sunday, June 23, from noon to 5 p.m. One hour of play will be $10 and every dollar raised will be put into a scholarship fund for a student entering the academy.



Barranco hopes to sell his T-shirts on Sunday.



This is the first year Schrier and Barranco will raise money for a student entering YEA, but they plan to make it a yearly event.



Running Wild Laser Tag is located at 9008 Pentagass Road in Nunda, just past the golf courses. The fundraiser will run Sunday, June 23 from noon to 5 p.m.