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Joyce Jefferson
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Tracy Orr Brings the CEO Program to Kiwanis

With enough enthusiasm to excite a sleepy, well fed Kiwanian, Tracy Orr, the Coordinator of the high school CEO Program, was the speaker for the Thursday noon luncheon at the Carmi Kiwanis Club on August 29, 2019.

Into the fourth year of the program, Tracy reflected on past years and shared some of the success stories of previous students. She shared Ashton Cowling’s experience interviewing for a scholarship which she ended up getting. Ashton reflected that she felt so relaxed and confident in the interview as a result of the skills she received in the CEO program. Another student in year one was Emmy Pruitt, a NCOE student that was described as a walking billboard for the CEO program. Emmy went on to SIC and joined a business club that competed with other clubs in the state in various events. She took her CEO Business Plan that she had developed in the CEO class, tweaked it and made an oral presentation out of it. She presented it at the state level winning 1st place, then went on to the national championship and again won 1st place which included a monetary award. She is currented working at First Bank in Carmi as a Credit Administration Intern as well as attending USI in Business Administration.

Year two students included Josiah, a CWCHS student, who along with attending Wabash Valley College has established a lucrative lawn mowing business that he continues to grow. Another success story is of Christy Hunter who chose to start her own business rather than go to college. Her business is soap making and has established her business model as Xine – primarily a mail order business using all natural products that has exceeded her expectations. She again credited the CEO program with giving her the confidence and ingenuity to establish her business.

Becca Westbrook, a year three NCOE student, took her CEO business to the national trade show in Champaign and competed against other CEO students. Through the connections she made at that convention, she interviewed for the position of CEO-U Scout and was selected to help grow the CEO program at the college level.

And, now we are in year four, stated Orr. There are seven students in the program this year which she affectionately referred to as the “sensational seven”.

They consist of four CWCHS students and three NCOE students. Representing CWCHS are: Devin Nesler, Catalina Baker, Mackenzie Knight, and Sarahjane Gray

and representing NCOE are: Kennedy Cook, Kilee Roser, and Trenton Johnson.

The year has gotten off to a great start beginning with a group assignment of coming up with a lanyard for each student to wear. With this project the group was to collaborate their skills to research who makes these badges, design them, etc. This group project required the students to think independently and “out of the box” beyond their comfort zone. The second project is an individual project whereby they are to take a $1 bill and turn it into $100 without investing any more than the $1. They may use their resources to reinvest in order to get a $100 return. Examples given were to sell items to fellow students and/or staff at school, sell clothes that are no longer used, provide a service for a business in town, selling items on Instagram and Facebook, etc. This was a great lesson on being creative and industrious as well as learning about profit margin.

What a great learning experience these young people are having and what great opportunities they are exposed to as budding entrepreneurs.

In club business President Katelyne Wolff, announced that Corn Days 2019 is only 43 days away. Kiwanian, Paul Dusch, won the opportunity to draw the lucky golf ball from the can to win the $58 pot – but no such luck. It was announced that Rod Matsel and Amy McCarty would be taking the Kiwanis Corn Car and Cadillac to Grayville Days.

Next week’s program will be presented by Mr. Brad Lee and the introduction of new staff members of Carmi-White County Schools.