Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 18, 2014

New program helps students prepare to become business owners

15 high school juniors, seniors selected for first Kokomo CEO class

Fifteen high school students will find themselves with their own businesses — and a place in Kokomo history — by the end of the 2014-15 school year.

A new Kokomo CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program officially launched at a reception Wednesday evening. The unique program partners high school juniors and seniors with local business owners and entrepreneurs so they can gain practical experience before embarking on their own business ventures as part of the course.

Kent Eaton, personnel director for General Motors Components Holdings Kokomo, who is a member of the CEO advisory board, welcomed students to the program at the reception.

“You may think you’re a little crazy for signing up, but I don’t think so. I admire you for signing up to be a part of what I think is going to be one of the most exciting programs we have ever offered in the Kokomo, Howard County and surrounding county area,” Eaton said. “It’s a cooperative program between high schools and local businesses. Both the schools and the businesses see the value of this program.”

Students had to be nominated for Kokomo CEO, fill out an application and write an essay before a committee selected the first year’s participants. The students chosen represent six schools in Howard, Cass and Tipton counties.

Eastern High School senior Alexis Hasting is ready to hit the ground running with Kokomo CEO as she’s already dabbled in running her own business selling baked goods at C&S Meat Market, which her uncle runs.

Hasting is looking forward to learning more strategies for making her baked good business successful and networking with local business owners — though she admits that part also makes her nervous. She’s excited for the opportunities Kokomo CEO will bring that she couldn’t get in a traditional classroom.

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