Local CEO program prepping seniors for after high school

Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 5:24 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The Adams County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program is designed to give high school seniors business experience by having them start and run a business as a team.

Over the past 3 years, they’ve had 34 students complete the program and go on to further their education.

“I’ve gained a lot of good experience, not only from working with other people, but being a leader in that sense. Working with other business owners and working with other people that aren’t exactly like me,” said Quincy Notre Dame senior Dalton Miller.

The 16 students in the program put together a business of their own called Santa’s Elves.

Their business is a gift-wrapping service where community members pay $2-$9 to get their gifts wrapped and tagged.

“For the community, what we’ve got is some young leaders that maybe are going off to college or doing something different, we want them to know all the great things that are happening in Adams County, and they might come back and start a business here,” said Adams County CEO Facilitator Roger Leenerts.

Along with the hands-on experience, the program gives the students the opportunity to make connections with local business leaders.

“I really wanted to gain hands on experience to the business field and our community especially. Hear from a lot of nice, experienced business owners and get to tour different businesses and how they function differently from all the others,” said Miller.

The money earned from Santa’s Elves will be invested back into the Adams County CEO program.

Leenerts said juniors interested in signing up for the Adams County CEO Program can talk to their school’s counselor and apply.

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