Over a dozen high school students in two chapters of an entrepreneur program are wrapping the 2020-21 school year this week and many say they are walking away with a new set of skills and lessons.
Students from the Central Illinois and Sangamon Valley CEO programs will be in class for the final time this week. Jordan Geralds, part of the Central Illinois CEO program from Blue Ridge High School says she has learned a whole new skill set that she can take with her well beyond high school.
Emma Culbertson says the CEO program has forced her to step outside her comfort zone and engage with people she never would have through means she likely never would have.
Emmah Cook, part of the Central Illinois CEO Program from Warrensburg-Latham High School echoes her peers' thoughts but adds with her outgoing personality, becoming a better presenter has helped her become a professional businesswoman.
From the Sangamon Valley CEO program, Josie Nelson from Monticello High School says she has learned to better interact with professionals.
Ethan Braake, also from Monticello High School and part of the Sangamon Valley CEO program says he learned a lot of life skills like being professional and showing up on time.
Last week, both chapters of the program held trade shows to display the individual businesses they created during the second semester of the program.
The CEO class meets five days a week for 90 minutes a day and is a year-long high school course. It is supported by businesses and donors in the communities of the two chapters and is not funded by any school or taxpayer dollars.
The class meets in local businesses and changes locations throughout the year. This helps the students establish a common identity based on their CEO experience and a greater appreciation for the area's professional work environments.