CEO can set path for successful students

Friday, June 22, 2018

Businesses and community leaders have a chance to help some local students break through barriers often set before for our young people and set them up for success in the future.

A group of local individuals are working to start up the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program, but your help is needed.

In order for the program to be successful and help guide groups of driven students toward the future, a board of 9 to 11 people needs to be in place to govern and guide the program. The board members could consist of community leaders, business owners, school officials, financial advisors and, of course, entrepreneurs.

In addition, the program needs more local investors to lock in and help fund the program.

This program will offer such a unique opportunity to the students who pursue it. During a presentation in January at the Linton-Stockton Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, a Crawford County CEO student described it as “life changing.”

The students will get to meet with local business owners and individuals who have made it. They’ll get to see what success looks like, and -- possibly more importantly -- get to see the struggles of someone who persevered.

The program puts a student’s success in their own hands. It is their responsibility to figure out what kind of business they want to create. They have to find the funding for their business. They have to present their business model in order to be backed.

It’s not your typical textbook-style class where you learn then apply. The students will have to learn as they apply themselves, much like a typical real-world working environment.

The CEO program will not be like a typical classroom environment either. Students will be in charge of their success. They have to figure out how to get to and from their classes. They must learn to present themselves in a professional manner to community and business leaders. They will not be sitting behind a desk, but rather meeting inside the walls of local businesses, getting a better sense of what is right here at home.

Which leads us to another important point. We’ve had complaints that our youth are not coming back to Greene County to raise their families. This will be an opportunity to educate students on the opportunities right here at home.

Even if the program starts out with 10 students, they will see local opportunities and share with their friends and fellow classmates.

It seems like a win-win for everyone.