LEE COUNTY - In an exciting milestone for the community, Lee County officially announced its status as the first Iowa chapter of the Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEO) Program. The announcement came during a community presentation held Friday, where residents and local leaders gathered to hear from key figures instrumental in bringing this transformative initiative to the area.
Chris Egelston, a representative from the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship, provided a comprehensive overview of the CEO Program, highlighting its remarkable outcomes and the positive impact it has had on more than 70 communities nationwide.
Kathy Dinger, Superintendent of Keokuk Community School District and Lee County CEO Board Chair, shared her firsthand experience with the program in McDonough County, Illinois. She described the program's profound effects, detailing the transformation she witnessed in students as they engaged with the entrepreneurial curriculum.
The launch of the Lee County CEO chapter marks a significant step toward empowering local youth and fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship within the community. To realize this vision, Lee County is actively seeking support from program "investors." These individuals and organizations are invited to contribute $1,000 per year for the next three years, enabling the program's successful launch and sustainability.
The Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG) has demonstrated its commitment to this initiative through a founding investment of $10,000. Climax Molybdenum and Pilot Grove Savings Bank have also generously contributed $5,000 each, further bolstering the program's foundation.
"We are immensely grateful for the support from our community partners," said Savanna Collier, Executive Director at the Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. Collier is also serving as the Lee County CEO Board Vice-Chair. "Their contributions are not just financial; they represent a shared belief in the potential of our young people and the power of entrepreneurship to transform lives."
The Lee County CEO program will be a unique educational experience that immerses high school students in real-life entrepreneurial activities, including business visits, guest speaker sessions, business plan development, and hands-on business operations. By fostering essential 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership, the program equips students with the tools they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.
Local businesses, philanthropists, and community members interested in becoming program investors and supporting the Lee County CEO chapter are encouraged to contact Emily Benjamin firstname.lastname@example.org (319)470-4876.
About Lee County CEO: The Lee County CEO Program is a part of the national Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunities (CEO) initiative. It provides high school students with an immersive entrepreneurial experience, connecting them with local businesses and mentors while teaching essential skills vital for future success.
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