Trending News

Becoming a Better Person

For many, the acronym “CEO” automatically triggers thoughts of business. But for Effingham CEO Alumni Mikayla Winters, entering Effingham County CEO program just meant she wanted to learn how to become a better person.

Winters, who represented the Effingham County CEO program at the 2016 Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship Trade Show last June, said she decided to take CEO as a senior because she watched friends come out of the program “a different person than they were when they entered.”

“They were always the kind of people who were leaders before, but they started to lead in a really good way,” she said. “They were more confident and listened to other people’s ideas. They just became better people.”

And that’s all Winters wanted for herself when she enrolled in the program: to become a better person. She did not expect to become addicted to business.

“When i joined CEO, I didn’t know I loved business. I was really doing it to become a better person, but I wasn’t interested in business opportunities, but now I’m addicted,” she said. “I don’t want to work for people now. I want to own my own business.”

CEO is based on the belief that students will realize their potential through experiences if facilitators provide opportunities for students to learn from experts in the community while students also produce products, events and even their own business over the course of the year. Winters said that through teamwork rather than hand-holding from the class facilitator, the CEO students were able to produce lanyards, t-shirts and a conference with guest speaker Jon Acuff to raise money to fund their individual businesses.

“I feel like our end result was way better than if someone had said, go to RE/MAX, ask for a donation...if they’d given us step by step instructions,” she said.

After working with her 40 classmates on several group projects, Winters decided to sell handmade jewelry through her company, Darling Dudi. Winters then took 10% of each sale to produce necklaces with inspirational messages on them to give to mothers who recently lost their newborn infant.

“CEO was the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said.

Share this news article


CEO Class Directory