Saline County CEO program offers unique advantages


Kelee Mills

People in the community come to SIC to support the CEO students in their trade show. April 20.

Kelee Mills, Staff Writer

In the Saline County CEO program the students learn many different things and have different opportunities. 

During the first semester, the students create a team business. When the class first begins, the students only really know others that are from their school, but there are students from the other schools in Saline County. They learn how to work with students from different schools that are in their class. Since the students don’t really know very many people in their class, it is a great experience to be able to grow throughout the year with those students that others don’t know. The students spend five days a week with each other and the students are up before their peers are. As students head off to college they will be others from different schools all around, with the CEO class the students get the practice and experience with being introduced to other students that they have never met before. It benefits the students by enhancing their communication skills and getting out of their comfort zone. 

Students also get to meet different people from all kinds of different businesses and backgrounds. When students get to meet with the different speakers, they get to hear their story and about their journey through life. This year the students got to meet this speaker that had traveled across the country with his wife on bicycles. By meeting different people, the students get connections and are able to reach out to those that they have met if they ever needed to. 

Throughout the school year the students got to go on different tours of businesses in Saline County. Sometimes, like when the students went to Southern Truss in Harrisburg Illinois and built their own trusses, the students got to try their hands at new skills as part of the visit. By touring different businesses, the students get to see what they are best at and what their interests are. It could also spark an interest in a job in their future if they loved the tour. 

There are a lot of other things that students learn from the CEO class that they will never learn in school. For example, the students this year met at Kemper CPA, which is a place in Harrisburg Illinois where they do taxes. As a senior in high school, students start getting jobs and will eventually have to do taxes in their life. It was interesting, and it really helped prepare the students for when it is time to do their taxes. 

In the second semester the students create their own individual business, and that’s a process in itself. There is a lot to learn when creating a business that we don’t really hear a lot about in school, for example, how to write a business plan and when to meet with a banker. After the long process of creating a business, the students host a trade show where they get to show off their business and sell the products that they have made throughout the semester. Since the students grow a bond with others in the class, there is support from the other members of the class. It teaches the students how much relationships and bonds are important in the world of business. 

Students should definitely sign up for CEO, it teaches the students more than they will ever learn in a classroom because they are more hands on with everything they do. The class really helps prepare students for after high school and what the outside world is like.