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Another Successful Year of CEO for EHS Students

2023-24 CEO group

After a year of record-breaking success, the Edwardsville CEO program and its 14 EHS students have a lot to celebrate. 

Edwardsville CEO is an entrepreneurship program designed to help high school seniors form an entrepreneurial mindset. The program describes an entrepreneurial mindset as: understanding the importance of communication, hard work, doing what they say they are going to do, and owning your mistakes.

In addition to learning this mindset, students also hear from over 100 speakers and visit over 60 businesses in the Edwardsville area. Led by program facilitator Hannah Allison, Edwardsville CEO shows students the importance of community and how many opportunities exist in the community. From learning how to give a proper handshake to hearing about how many local business owners have faced challenges and overcome them, the Edwardsville CEO class gives students a toolbox of life skills that will set them apart from all the rest far beyond highschool. 

During the first semester of school, Edwardsville CEO students work together to plan and execute a class business endeavor. They dream up a business concept, pitch the business, form committees, set goals, make financial projections, and set goals for themselves and their business. This year, the Edwardsville CEO students launched “Jumpstart to Joy”, a holiday event at the YMCA. The event was a success that brought in over 660 community members, breaking the program’s event attendance record. Using the revenue from this business, students began planning to launch their own business in the second semester. 

Once the students had their idea for their business, it was time to pitch to several judges. At Edwardsville CEO’s annual “Fish Tank” pitch competition, students pitched their ideas to a judge panel made up of local business owners and community members. 

After a tough competition among the students, EHS students Haley Onwiler and Kelsey Renth tied for second place.

Additionally, EHS students Caden Sexton, Lucas Cecil, Noah Foley, Mia Plegge, Sanaa Johnson, and Caroline Gates were recognized for their business hustle, scalability, creativity, and professionalism. Renth went on to place third overall in the CEO program’s national pitch competition. 

Edwardsville CEO students launched their businesses into the community on April 28 at their trade show event, which broke another program attendance record. Students were tasked with producing their product, setting up their booth, and pitching their product to each person who stopped by. 

Congratulations on a great year! 

written by Caroline Gates, PR intern and CEO member




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