Local high school students in an entrepreneurship program are in the last leg before their business ideas come together for an annual trade show in May.
On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, Melanie Brown told Regional Radio the entire school year has led up to this time of the year when all the lessons students are learning will come together as they put together their own businesses.
Lisa Sheppard facilitates the Sangamon Valley CEO Program and indicates they dedicate a week to individual businesses with various 'checkpoints' throughout the week. She feels it gives students an overview of what owning a business might look like.
Students in the first semester of the program created a group business and portions of the profits from that business are used as startup money. Brown explains this money is distributed based on need but also on presentations the students give.
Sheppard believes trade show gives students a lesson in how owning a business will translate down the road. If a student becomes a business owner, they are going to have to work with people and present their business.
Many may wonder what happens when the student wraps up trade show and goes off to college or the next stage of their life. Sheppard explains recently she encountered a former student at a trade show at Millikin University and then also knew another student that was at the same show.
For some students, they can go to college and continue on with their business on a part-time basis. Brown explains she knows of a student that still does a limited offering of the things she produces and was able to help a local business.
The Central Illinois CEO program encompasses students from Blue Ridge, Clinton, Maroa-Forsyth, and Warrensburg-Latham High Schools. Their trade show comes up on Tuesday, May 2 at Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth from 5 pm to 7 pm.
The Sangamon Valley CEO program brings in students from DeLand-Weldon, Cerro Gordo, Bement, Monticello, and Argenta-Oreana. Their trade show is on Thursday, May 4 in the lobby of the Sievers Center at Monticello High School.
Get more information by visiting centralillinoisceo.com or sangamonvalleyceo.com.