Gavin Milligan is a typical highschool student in many aspects–he enjoys goofing off with his peers, and maintains a full schedule of classes, including dual enrollment classes at RACC and Berks Career and Technology Center. However, that is where his resemblance to many of his peers abruptly changes.
Milligan, an entrepreneur himself, grew up watching what it takes for a small business to thrive. His father, Chad, owns Advanced Comfort Specialists, an HVAC company in Berks County.
Milligan shared that he had a dream to start his own business as a Youtuber back in 2015 when he was 12.
“[I saved my Christmas money] for camera equipment…then realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do,” he said, sharing that he ultimately became the social media manager for Advanced Comfort Specialists instead. Milligan continued to learn about life behind the camera via online learning platforms, and had his first experience shooting a big-budget commercial for his father’s business in August of 2019.
All of these experiences led Milligan to create a unique nonprofit organization of his own: Young Business in Berks.
Milligan noted that he has a unique relationship with residents of Berks County. “I know what it is to be in highschool, and I know what it is to be in business. [YBB] is a way to show people my age, especially people growing up in a family business, that we are privileged…but [that] doesn’t mean that we can’t take that [next] step and go even further.”
Sharing that he isn’t in YBB for the money, but rather to give back to the community, Milligan shared that he wants to create a system where young people can learn about the community and have events that bring the community together.
He is even working on developing a curriculum for highschool students that educates them about the past, present, and future of business in Reading, how it affects them and their community, and how it can be better if they themselves contribute even the smallest amount.
Milligan shared a helpful bit of advice for other young Berks County residents who wish to give back and/or start their own businesses: “[Stop] worrying about meaningless highschool status quo… look at the community and get involved. When you get involved, you might discover a new passion.”