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First CEO Class Beings Friday

While most high school students are thinking about school supplies, classes and extracurriculars, CEO students of the Fayette County CEO are thinking about what it looks like to start and run their own business.


The Friday, the community will begin its First CEO program year, along with 42 CEO communities across the Midwest. This is just the first in a series of steps to help cultivate real life skills in our community’s young people and to enter them into a national network of high caliber, young leaders.


“CEO” stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities.It is a yearlong, experiential learning-based course that uses community relationships to provide an overview of business processes and development for junior and seniors in high schools. This program was made possible by the Old Capitol Foundation, local investors, and Brownstown, Ramsey, St. Elmo and Vandalia school districts.


Throughout the program year, 11 students from these four school districts, along with facilitator Debbie Hobbie, will get up early to attend their CEO Program at a local business before their school day starts.

“We don’t call this ‘going to class,’” said CEO community member and Midland Institute employee Amy Tarr. “We call it ‘going to work.’”

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship is the organization that supports communities across the United States as they build and grow CEO Programs.

Throughout the program, students visit local businesses, learn from guest speakers, participate in operating a class business, write a business plan and, from concept to reality, build their own legal, functioning business. The business interactions they practice and see in action each day in CEO are similar to the things they will see in life after school.

Practicing these techniques builds important 21st century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, responsibility and self-motivation.

Ultimately, the goal is to prepare young people to enter into life after high school in a unique and tangible way. The program seeks to prepare them with a strong network in their community, a wealth of business knowledge and the skills necessary to better face the future.
And, all along the way, allowing them to participate in the experience of a lifetime.

Do you want to get involved? CEO classes are open to the community. Simply visit our website www.fayettecountyceo.com to contact the facilitator.

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