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Land of Lincoln CEO students learn by doing at annual tradeshow

Student owned businesses sponsored by the Land of Lincoln CEO program hosted a tradeshow Wednesday to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of Logan County youth.

Nine students from Logan County schools offered business ventures in woodworking, toys and even something for pets.

Students enrolled in the Land of Lincoln CEO program include: Talia Andreade, a senior from Hartsburg-Emden High School, who presented Sugar Designs by Talia; Felipe Buenrostro, a senior from Mount Pulaski High School, who presented Papos Style; Emma Cooper a senior from Lincoln Community High School who presented Grind and Shine Beverages; Dustyn Gaston, a junior from LCHS, who presented Cutting Edge Woodworking; Austin Hayes, a junior at H-E who presented Pixel Hayes Design, Lyndsay Long, a junior at LCHS who presented Mobile Mobility, Haley Matson, a senior from H-E who presented Matson Events, Mya Roberts, a senior at LCHS, who presented Paws-Itive Experience Pet Car and Emma Schoth, a senior at MPHS, who presented Drake’s Toys.

The goal for the event was to learn how to interact with potential customers and perhaps sell goods or serivces to those who came to the event at the American Legion in Lincoln.

Lyndsay Long said her idea for her company Mobile Mobility came from thinking outside the box.

“For awhile I wanted to go to college to be an Athletic Trainer. I met with Chris Beard from REPS Gym and he helped me come up with idea. The baby boomers generation is a specific market that no one focuses on, so I thought I would,” said Long.

The business works with customers to create individualized excercise plans for improved mobility.

Dustyn Gaston said his business idea was the result of a woodworking class he took at LCHS.

“Feel free to come in and touch everything,” smiled Gaston to those who approached his booth.

“Woods are ‘in’ right now and after I researched cutting boards I found there is a market for this,” said Gaston, who also was showing boxes, bowls and picture frames.

Gaston, the son of Tim and Sarah Gaston, of Lincoln, said he started woodworking as a freshman and really liked the different patterns that he was able to create.

“I’m not really an artist but I have taken orders for my family. I did go to an expo and a lady that had a catalog business took an interest,” said Gaston.

He plans to enlist in the Air Force after graduation and said he hopes he can continue with his craft during his down time.

“It’s not a job if you like what you are doing,” he smiled.

April Doolin, with Intergrity Holdings and a member if the Land of Lincoln Advisor Board, said the program represents the final for students in the CEO program.

“This is the culmination of the school year. We don’t treat it like a class, it’s learning by doing. They don’t have a teacher, they have a facilitator. They tour local business and have local business leaders come in and speak to them. They keep a journal, and by this point this is their third business, they’ve done things as a group. The grand finale is a real business with real money and they can keep going if they would like. It’s a way for them to generate money at something they are passionate about,” said Doolin.

According to Doolin the program also teaches “soft skills.”

“The program helps them to get comfortable speaking with adults, how you introduce yourself, how to introduce someone else. It’s the things that you aren’t taught. It’s the simple things that will help them interview in the future,” said Doolin.

To find out more on this program visit them on the web at

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