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#SangamonCounty accredited HS program w/ dual-credit (@LLCCedu). Develop biz concepts & entrepreneurship skills + network w/ biz & community leaders.
[MEET SAM]

Samantha (Sam) is a senior at Rochester High school. She hopes to attend Columbia College in Chicago to study digital strategy and social media. 

Sam has been interested in Sangamon CEO since she was in 8th grade. She heard about the program from alumni, Marley Stubblefield. Marley encouraged her to join the program. After waiting years to join Sangamon CEO, Sam claims that she is " so grateful to finally be a part of this class!"
Samantha wishes people realized how big of an opportunity Sangamon CEO is. She says, "This class focuses on personal development and growth. It is so much more than a business class." 

Sam is going to use her Youtube channel as her business for Sangamon CEO. Sam plans on partnering with brands to create engaging social media content. She says, "For my CEO business, I plan to continue reaching out to brands and creating wonderful content." 

Her favorite part of Sangamon CEO is building her network. She says, "CEO is a great way to make new connections in her personal and business realms of life." 

We are looking forward to seeing all the amazing things Samantha does this year in Sangamon CEO.

[MEET SAM] Samantha (Sam) is a senior at Rochester High school. She hopes to attend Columbia College in Chicago to study digital strategy and social media. Sam has been interested in Sangamon CEO since she was in 8th grade. She heard about the program from alumni, Marley Stubblefield. Marley encouraged her to join the program. After waiting years to join Sangamon CEO, Sam claims that she is " so grateful to finally be a part of this class!" Samantha wishes people realized how big of an opportunity Sangamon CEO is. She says, "This class focuses on personal development and growth. It is so much more than a business class." Sam is going to use her Youtube channel as her business for Sangamon CEO. Sam plans on partnering with brands to create engaging social media content. She says, "For my CEO business, I plan to continue reaching out to brands and creating wonderful content." Her favorite part of Sangamon CEO is building her network. She says, "CEO is a great way to make new connections in her personal and business realms of life." We are looking forward to seeing all the amazing things Samantha does this year in Sangamon CEO.

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2 months ago
Students holding up Grab-a-Java stickers and free drink cards!

Bill Legge, owner of Grab-a-Java, came to speak to our class today. Grab-a-Java opened in 1996 and uses banner marketing to draw attention to the shop. Bill became the new owner of Grab-a-Java in 2018. He advised the students to find their passions and use them to live a fulfilling life. He also explained the importance of marketing in business. 

**SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS**
“There is no limit to success when you work for yourself.”
“Fake it till you make it.”
“We’re trying to be the best at the thing we do, not the best at everything.”

Thank you Bill for joining us in class today and sharing your passion for people and coffee with us!

Students holding up Grab-a-Java stickers and free drink cards! Bill Legge, owner of Grab-a-Java, came to speak to our class today. Grab-a-Java opened in 1996 and uses banner marketing to draw attention to the shop. Bill became the new owner of Grab-a-Java in 2018. He advised the students to find their passions and use them to live a fulfilling life. He also explained the importance of marketing in business. **SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS** “There is no limit to success when you work for yourself.” “Fake it till you make it.” “We’re trying to be the best at the thing we do, not the best at everything.” Thank you Bill for joining us in class today and sharing your passion for people and coffee with us!

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2 months ago
IT’S THURSDAY & our students are ready to learn!!!

Kathy Crum, our longest serving CEO Board member, came to our class this morning. Kathy was a teacher in District 186 for several years and is now a mentor. She shared her passion with our students: helping leaders become better equipped with skills to lead more efficiently. Kathy also talked about the value of having a mentor in your life and encouraged our students to stop thinking limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs only “hold you back” from endlessly opportunities to grow. 

**SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS** 
“A mentor is the most important gift you can give yourself.”

Thank you Kathy for speaking to our class today and encouraging us to never stop growing!

IT’S THURSDAY & our students are ready to learn!!! Kathy Crum, our longest serving CEO Board member, came to our class this morning. Kathy was a teacher in District 186 for several years and is now a mentor. She shared her passion with our students: helping leaders become better equipped with skills to lead more efficiently. Kathy also talked about the value of having a mentor in your life and encouraged our students to stop thinking limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs only “hold you back” from endlessly opportunities to grow. **SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS** “A mentor is the most important gift you can give yourself.” Thank you Kathy for speaking to our class today and encouraging us to never stop growing!

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2 months ago
Patrick Scheina came to our class this morning. Patrick spoke to our seniors about student loans. He told them that the best investment in themselves is through education, and spoke about how important it is for students to understand their investments before committing to them. Additionally, Patrick spoke on loan forgiveness, federal loans, and private loans. 

Thank you Patrick for coming to class today and educating our students on student loans.

Patrick Scheina came to our class this morning. Patrick spoke to our seniors about student loans. He told them that the best investment in themselves is through education, and spoke about how important it is for students to understand their investments before committing to them. Additionally, Patrick spoke on loan forgiveness, federal loans, and private loans. Thank you Patrick for coming to class today and educating our students on student loans.

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2 months ago
[Community Spotlight]

Brad Zara has been involved with Sangamon CEO since its inception. He attended initial planning meetings and is an investor. He joined the board in 2014 and served on it for four years. Additionally, Brad has been a student mentor in the past.  We asked him a series of questions about the program.

In your mind, what is the most value that CEO provides, to the students, to your business and to the community at large? 
“To me, the most value CEO provides to the students is the opportunity to look inside a wide range of businesses, leadership styles, and ultimately a valuable network of business leaders. The biggest benefit to our business, and community, is the potential for these students to stay in, or return to, our community to pursue their endeavors.”

Do you have a favorite memory from the program? 
“Fortunately, I have been able to experience my favorite memory multiple times, seeing someone that started the school year incredibly shy and fearful of public speaking, ending the school year pitching their business, or speaking, in front of a large crowd with confidence.”

Why did you choose to invest in the program and what motives you to continue to do so?
“Everything about the program teaches practical skills that students will be able to utilize in all aspects of their lives. I love seeing the development of the students and the business ideas that they come up with.”

What would you tell CEO alumni so they come back to Springfield? 
“Every entrepreneur that you met during class is an example of the wide range of opportunities right here in the Springfield area. Also, why not take advantage of the vast network that you have already established in this area?”

Thank you Brad for your continued support and engagement with the Sangamon CEO program! Our students always enjoy hearing from you. 

**photo from Brad Zara visiting our class in 2019.**

[Community Spotlight] Brad Zara has been involved with Sangamon CEO since its inception. He attended initial planning meetings and is an investor. He joined the board in 2014 and served on it for four years. Additionally, Brad has been a student mentor in the past. We asked him a series of questions about the program. In your mind, what is the most value that CEO provides, to the students, to your business and to the community at large? “To me, the most value CEO provides to the students is the opportunity to look inside a wide range of businesses, leadership styles, and ultimately a valuable network of business leaders. The biggest benefit to our business, and community, is the potential for these students to stay in, or return to, our community to pursue their endeavors.” Do you have a favorite memory from the program? “Fortunately, I have been able to experience my favorite memory multiple times, seeing someone that started the school year incredibly shy and fearful of public speaking, ending the school year pitching their business, or speaking, in front of a large crowd with confidence.” Why did you choose to invest in the program and what motives you to continue to do so? “Everything about the program teaches practical skills that students will be able to utilize in all aspects of their lives. I love seeing the development of the students and the business ideas that they come up with.” What would you tell CEO alumni so they come back to Springfield? “Every entrepreneur that you met during class is an example of the wide range of opportunities right here in the Springfield area. Also, why not take advantage of the vast network that you have already established in this area?” Thank you Brad for your continued support and engagement with the Sangamon CEO program! Our students always enjoy hearing from you. **photo from Brad Zara visiting our class in 2019.**

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2 months ago
[MEET AESEN] 

Aesen is a senior at Glenwood High school. He hopes to attend the University of Illinois in the future.

He applied to CEO because he wanted to learn new perspectives in entrepreneurship and business. "I heard about it from friends at school who were in CEO, and all they could ever say was 'It's indescribable' or 'it's life-changing.' So far, they haven't been wrong!"

Aesen describes CEO by painting a picture. He said, "Imagine a hands-on class in which you learn entrepreneurship and business skills in the most enjoyable way possible. Not to mention the number of new friends you make."

His favorite part of CEO is  group discussions with his classmates and teacher, Nabih. He explained, "Listening to and acknowledging the opinions of others (especially in comparison to my own) is honestly fascinating. Not only is it fascinating, but it also shows me new ways of thinking on a wide range of the subjects we talk about."

His favorite speaker so far in class is Brad Zara. Brad is the founder of Zara's Collision, and Aesen enjoyed listening to him because he works in the car industry as well. 

We are looking forward to seeing all the amazing things Aesen does this year in Sangamon CEO.

[MEET AESEN] Aesen is a senior at Glenwood High school. He hopes to attend the University of Illinois in the future. He applied to CEO because he wanted to learn new perspectives in entrepreneurship and business. "I heard about it from friends at school who were in CEO, and all they could ever say was 'It's indescribable' or 'it's life-changing.' So far, they haven't been wrong!" Aesen describes CEO by painting a picture. He said, "Imagine a hands-on class in which you learn entrepreneurship and business skills in the most enjoyable way possible. Not to mention the number of new friends you make." His favorite part of CEO is group discussions with his classmates and teacher, Nabih. He explained, "Listening to and acknowledging the opinions of others (especially in comparison to my own) is honestly fascinating. Not only is it fascinating, but it also shows me new ways of thinking on a wide range of the subjects we talk about." His favorite speaker so far in class is Brad Zara. Brad is the founder of Zara's Collision, and Aesen enjoyed listening to him because he works in the car industry as well. We are looking forward to seeing all the amazing things Aesen does this year in Sangamon CEO.

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2 months ago
A quote from one of our speakers, Brad Zara.

We are grateful for all the speakers who spoke with us this week!

A quote from one of our speakers, Brad Zara. We are grateful for all the speakers who spoke with us this week!

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2 months ago
Our students had some FUN in class today!

They were challenged to get into groups, research products/services, and present what they found to the class. They spoke on what the product/service is, who is behind it, and why they would invest in the project. 

The students learned the value of research, how to work well within a group, and worked on their public speaking!

Happy Friday!

Our students had some FUN in class today! They were challenged to get into groups, research products/services, and present what they found to the class. They spoke on what the product/service is, who is behind it, and why they would invest in the project. The students learned the value of research, how to work well within a group, and worked on their public speaking! Happy Friday!

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2 months ago
This morning Barnabas Helmy, cofounder of SmashToast, came and spoke to our class. Barnabas created Puck, a TV remote accessed from a smart phone. He encouraged our students to have thick skin and learn from trials. He explained the value of costumer feedback and using the feedback to modify your product. Lastly, he told the students to START NOW and build your network. 

We are grateful for Barnabas coming to class today and for sharing his product with the class.

This morning Barnabas Helmy, cofounder of SmashToast, came and spoke to our class. Barnabas created Puck, a TV remote accessed from a smart phone. He encouraged our students to have thick skin and learn from trials. He explained the value of costumer feedback and using the feedback to modify your product. Lastly, he told the students to START NOW and build your network. We are grateful for Barnabas coming to class today and for sharing his product with the class.

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2 months ago
Brad Zara, founder of Zara’s Collision, visited our class this morning. Brad shared his life journey from starting his own business at the age of 23 to where he is now. 
He encouraged our students to start early in the business world, form and maintain connections, and encouraged our students to invest in the community with their resources.

**SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS**
* “Connections give you credibility.”
* “The culture of your business is just as important as the economic aspects.”

Thank you Brad for encouraging our students and sharing your story!

Brad Zara, founder of Zara’s Collision, visited our class this morning. Brad shared his life journey from starting his own business at the age of 23 to where he is now. He encouraged our students to start early in the business world, form and maintain connections, and encouraged our students to invest in the community with their resources. **SPEAKER QUOTE TAKEAWAYS** * “Connections give you credibility.” * “The culture of your business is just as important as the economic aspects.” Thank you Brad for encouraging our students and sharing your story!

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2 months ago
A quote from one of our speakers, Kurt Windisch.

Thank you to all of our guest speakers who joined us in class this week!

A quote from one of our speakers, Kurt Windisch. Thank you to all of our guest speakers who joined us in class this week!

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3 months ago
Shannon Heisler, the Director of Marketing and Recruiting at LRS, and John Runions, the Vice President of EOM Services at LRS, came and spoke to our class this morning. They spoke about internship opportunities at LRS, and different ways to promote yourself in the job market and build your resume. 

Thank you Shannon and John for encouraging our students to say “yes” to new opportunities.

Shannon Heisler, the Director of Marketing and Recruiting at LRS, and John Runions, the Vice President of EOM Services at LRS, came and spoke to our class this morning. They spoke about internship opportunities at LRS, and different ways to promote yourself in the job market and build your resume. Thank you Shannon and John for encouraging our students to say “yes” to new opportunities.

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3 months ago