FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Union County CEO Kicks Off 2015-2016 School Year With Orientation Event
ANNA—The Union County CEO Program began its first full class year with an orientation event on July 2, 2015. Hosted by Anna-Jonesboro National Bank at its Leigh Avenue branch, this was an opportunity for students, parents, CEO board members and investors to meet and mingle. More importantly, it was the first opportunity for the program’s new students and facilitator Evelyn Bailey to meet and for this team to officially be introduced to the community.
“There are two fundamental concepts that sold CEO for me from the start,” explained CEO board chairman and investor Rollie Hawk during his introductory remarks. “First, it’s about teaching young people how to think instead of what to think. Second, it’s about teaching young people how to solve problems from a business perspective.”
CEO—short for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities—is a program designed to take a select group students out of the normal school environment for two class periods a day to learn about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship from members of the business community. The course culminates in a class business the first semester and individual students businesses for the second semester, wrapping up the year with a trade show of all student businesses.
Students from each of Union County’s four high schools applied for openings in the class. From there, they were chosen blindly by a selection committee, selecting students based on references and a personal narrative. The committee selected eleven students for this inaugural class.
Board member Ryan Carter presented the students with the standards expected of CEO students, which range from professional dress to being on time and always giving best efforts.
“Any time you are out in the community, you need to be aware that everyone around you is a potential investor,” said Carter.
This is true not only for the students’ individual businesses but the class itself, as CEO is completely funded by investors. Individuals, local businesses and community organizations willing to give $1000 a year for three years are considered “investors” in the program.
“We’ve had a couple years of collecting funds for this class and businesses have stepped up to make it happen,” said Hawk. “People have chosen to invest in the future of our students and our community with their time, their dollars and their passions. Communities are struggling to create the next generation’s jobs and the next generation’s leaders. My hope is we start to find both in these students.”
More information about the Union County CEO Program is available at UnionCountyCEO.com.