May the 4th

Next week begins the exit inteviews for students, so there will be no more newsletters this school year. The students want to thank you, Jasper County, for the opportunity to stretch themselves and develop the grit and resilience necessary for 'adulting'. It has been a year they will never forget and the skills learned will only strengthen their opportunities!

Trade Show Results


Students calculated their business profits and gave feedback on their Trade Show. During the course of their individual businesses (since January 2018), students have made over $12,000, received $1500 in nonprofit donations, and written bids totalling over $5,500. Thank you for the support of the CEO Program and individual businesses! Students were able to share their results at the most recent JEDI meeting.

Feedback from student, Rachel Probst: As a busy high schooler, I ran into many days where there were not enough hours to get everything accomplished. With the responsibilities I had sometimes, I did not think I could do everything and owning a business. This gave me a new appreciation for current business owners in the community. I cannot imagine what it is like to own a running full time business while staying on top of adult duties and being a parent. I am only a high schooler with a small candle business; this really showed me how much passion it would take to own a larger-scale business. I also learned that I have to build off of my business and that I will not become rich overnight. With so many startup costs in the candle business, it will take time to make a profit off of my product. I am taking all of the lessons I have learned and using them to my advantage. I have finally learned some of the tricks and hacks to the candle business, so why would I quit now? The future has a lot to offer, so I am not leaving this business quite yet.

Mr. Michels

Art Michls

Philanthropist Mr. Art Michels took time on Tuesday to give students a challenge to stretch outside themselves and make their community, country, and world better. He shared about his work in Montana with Native Americans and in Guatemala schools. But, his main focus was about giving to your local community and creating businesses that build the jobs in Jasper County. Mr. Michels is a wonderful example of having a heart of generosity! We appreciate his support of the CEO program!

Go Create!

Joseph Fatheree

Joe Fatheree, from Effingham High School, discussed his successes with students on Wednesday. As an award-winning educator and filmmaker, doors have opened for him to help to make an impact globally. Some of the quotes he shared include:

"Don't get caught up in the rut of life." "Let your character talk for you." "Never miss an opportunity to learn. Learning comes from a variety of places." The ending quote of the day was, "Go create. Build. Dream."

Thank You Breakfast

Thursday's breakfast for CEO mentors and board members was a hit! Students had collected money by having 'jean days' during class. Then, used that money to provide a breakfast to thank the people who have taken time to speak into their lives, supported them through their endeavors, and challenged them to exceed the standard. Thank you so much to everyone involved!

Gap Year

Neil Groothuis

Neal Groothuis joined us via Skype to discuss the concept of a 'Gap Year'. Originally from Effingham County, Neal traveled to New York for a new adventure in his career and has found the benefit of a gap year. It is when a young adult takes a year off of school to travel, work, or spend time persuing a passion instead of going directly into college. The opportunities are endless with a gap year and allow for a more mature mindset to develop prior to students choosing their future career.

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Get Involved in CEO

The manner in which the CEO program is funded is critical to its success and sustainability. All funds raised are used exclusively for the Jasper County CEO program. To participate, a 3-year $1000 per year commitment is required. Business Partner Investors commitments of time and energy are also critical to the program's success. Contributions may be tax deductible, as our organization is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

When we are not touring local businesses, we need a place to host the class. During that time, the 0 CEO students and their Facilitator would meet at your site where they would also have guest speakers and guests from the community attend. Hosting requires a facility with internet access and adequately accommodates up to 5 people.

We are looking for people to share real-life stories about the concepts of running a business, from strategic thinking, product development to marketing, and cash flow management. Also, sharing your personal successes and failures are what recent classes have enjoyed the most.

If you are interested in participating in any of the above programs, use our contact form to send us a message

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