Students in CEO program This photo of the CEO class by Bonni Littleton Photography was recently featured in large recruitment posters on display in participating high schools. From left are Bryce Osman, Anna-Jonesboro Community High School; Alex Rogers, A-JCHS; from Cobden High School, Alejandra Lopez, Grace Schroeder, John Russell, Grace Pitts, Conner Allen and Zoe Fuhrhop; Megan Rhine, A-JCHS; and Cheyenne Thorn, from Shawnee Hills Christan Academy in Anna. Photo provided.

Applications being accepted for class of 2019

The CEO program of Union County is accepting applications for out-of-the box thinkers who are interesting in participating in next year’s CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program. 

Applications with references will be accepted through March 1.  

Students can contact any Union County high school counselor for more information. 

Applications are also available at Whitney Accounting at 105 Transcraft Dr. in Anna. Home-schooled students are welcomed to apply as well.

Students in CEO Team 18 have been actively involved in recruiting activities in Union County Schools.  

The students have based their school talks on student-designed PowerPoint presentations to Cobden, Anna-Jonesboro and Shawnee high schools. A visit to Dongola High School was being planned.

The Union County CEO program, partnering with the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship, is more than an entrepreneurship course.

The program is an experiential learning opportunity that offers juniors and seniors in high school or home-schooled the chance to participate in real life experiences.

In a recent survey of the CEO alumni, they were asked what CEO skills they had found most helpful in college life.  

Southern Illinois University Carbondale freshman football player Aaron Lence said, “Listening, being organized and prepared, and not being afraid to ask questions which has helped me get to know my professors.”

Lindenwood University sophomore and cheerleader Samantha Smith responded: “I definitely think the most important skill has been the ability to network with adults and professionals in the industry. 

“CEO has provided a great platform to seek others as resources and connect on a professional level. It is always very easy for me to approach my professors, guest speakers, or potential employers and start up a conversation.

“CEO also provided a great foundation for my core business classes, I have felt very prepared and am usually able to understand the material and go more in depth perhaps than other students, because many of the concepts have been introduced to me through the CEO program.”

CEO exposes students to business practices, connects them with leaders in their community, and allows them to practice communication, problem solving, and networking in a variety of settings. 

Ultimately, the program guides each team member through starting and running their own functioning business, all while cultivating essential skills and an expansive, long-lasting network of community members and business owners. 

Union County CEO, supported by its business and individual investors, and the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship partner together to establish and support excellent CEO (Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunities) Programs that are long term economic development programs for nationwide forward thinking communities.




The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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