Published January 24, 2017

The CEO experience

Monmouth College a founding sponsor of high school business course

Monmouth College is one of the founding sponsors of a groundbreaking new business course for Monmouth-Roseville High School and United High School juniors and seniors.

Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) is a business education program that aims to teach students how to think like business owners. Students are immersed in real-life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results and learn from outcomes. They also learn confidence-building skills, such as speaking in front of groups, and targeted skills, including how to write a successful business plan. 

The CEO program is available through a partnership with the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. There is no cost to the high schools or students for the program.

“The College is very excited to be involved with this innovative program and delighted to be able to help bring the program to Warren County,” said Richard Marshall, Monmouth College vice president for finance and business.

Marshall noted that Monmouth College trustee Jack Schultz of Effingham, Ill., was on the ground floor of CEO. The CEO of Agracel Inc., Schultz was the community leader that a high school student wanted to meet to learn more about business. That was “the moment that CEO became an idea,” said Craig Lindvahl, executive director of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship.

“The CEO program is one of the most transformative programs I’ve seen for rural communities, connecting young people directly with local business and community leaders,” said Schultz, who has been a member of the Monmouth board since 2009.

The College is also connected to the CEO program through Assistant Professor of Classics Bob Simmons, who has been appointed to CEO’s board of directors.

“The kids who do this program have an advantage over everyone else in high school,” said Paul Schuytema, director of economic and community development for the City of Monmouth. “It’s also good for Monmouth. This program gives students the skills we need here and shows them the opportunities that already exist in our area. If they decide to create their own business here, they’ll already have a terrific network of contacts.”

Lindvahl said that students who go through the CEO program will learn more than just skills.

“If I could just instill one thing in people when they think about CEO, it’s ‘transformation,’” he said. “The students are completely different people when they exit CEO from the person they were when they entered CEO.”

Applications are available now from high school guidance counselors and also on the website. The deadline is Feb. 21.

More information about the CEO program is available here.

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