As our CEO journey comes to a close, students enjoyed talking to CEO Board Members Jamie Hoge and Alicia Lignoul on their last day. Students were excited to share their thoughts and reflect on their CEO experience. Students listened to final thoughts from Craig Lindvahl, Craig Talks, on the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship website. CEO students are especially thankful and grateful for our CEO Board Members, CEO investors, CEO host businesses, parents and every door that opened and every opportunity they experienced. Our CEO Class of 2019 now have the tools and the knowledge of what it takes to be successful in life and in business. They look forward to their graduation on May 31st. We congratulate them on their high school graduation and a successful year of CEO.

Final Thoughts by Ryan Boschert:
CEO was a great experience that you couldn’t learn anywhere else. You learn to be professional and the business standards. Everyday feels like your going to a job. You have to dress appropriately and always remember your badge. One of the biggest takeaways was the social skills you learn. How to talk to someone one on one, get to know someone within a few seconds of an elevator ride, and even talk in front of an audience. These are all business skills you learn that you will use the rest of your life. You only learn this in CEO as a high schooler not in a classroom. You also learn how businesses are run and things they’ve done to be successful. We also learned how to write a business plan and do financials. None of this you will learn anywhere as a high school student. CEO was one of the best decisions I’ve made and it was a fun journey with my CEO family.

Final Thoughts by Toby Jones:
I had an amazing Journey from start to finish. It was an amazing experience. I was so happy I was able to be a part of something so great. Not only did I create a business but I met a lot of great people and a lot of good friends. My favorite visit of all time would be Trepstart day but recently it has been Mr. twist. I am sad that this will be my last journal but happy that I have a new beginning to my life. I thank the CEO class for everything it has taught me. I have a lot of business experience now and I will be able to carry on with my business. Thank you!

Final Thoughts by Brooke Meyer:
As you know, CEO is considered over for most, but it isn’t for me. With my procrastination, showing up late, and probably even more, let’s put that aside and talk about what I learned from CEO. Everyone will talk about how much CEO changed their life, that seems like it’s already a given when you join the class. But for me, it did more than that.

CEO taught be how to be determined and get things done even when you don’t want to. Personally, I loved CEO. I had bad days, good days, and sometimes I missed, but If I could join CEO again, I would. I would change what I messed up and learn from it. CEO had me on my toes every day. I struggle with anxiety so It’s hard for me to accomplish certain tasks given, like Shark Tank and networking. But with me stepping out of my comfort zone, and seeing how different I take situations, I compare myself to “what If I never joined CEO” to “ Look at me now and all of the things I overcame.”.Life’s a roller coaster but CEO teaches you how to balance that out and have passion for what you want to do with your life.

If I had to thank anyone today, it would be you, Karen. You dealt with me since day one, but what means so much to me is that you saw the potential that I didn’t know I had. You helped bring me out of my comfort zone and I will forever be thankful, no matter how late I show up (lol).
You are such a great role model. With your great advice that I might not always want to hear, the fun memories that I will always cherish, and you pushing me to get things done, That is what made me a better person.

Final Thoughts by Jade Heuer:
Over the course of the year I have learned a lot. Adding on to that, a lot is an understatement. CEO has been a joy in my life. I have made six brand new friends, from all different walks of lives and homes. This experience has made my senior year unforgettable.

On the first day, everyone was on a high of it being senior year, but in the same breath we were all waiting and wondering where this class would take us. For the six of us, it took us to an amazing place of confidence, self-awareness, and professionalism. Touring Granite City was my favorite part of the class. I have learned so many good things from our city. The job opportunities are endless. We hold so many trade jobs here. Getting to go into the Steel Mill was one of my favorite visits. Getting to see what actually happens there was mind blowing. The hot strip was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. We have had some of the best opportunities by traveling to businesses, TrepStart, CEO Empowerment, and more. No class that I know gets to do things like this. I am thankful for everything I have gotten to experience in this class. All the way from the badge business to the trade show, I have tried to work my hardest through everything. With the help of my mentor, Alicia Lignoul I was able to succeed at the trade show. She was very helpful. When I needed something, I would reach out to her and she would respond quickly. Alicia pushed me to work hard and strive for what I wanted. The relationships that I had the chance to make through CEO are amazing.

I know so many leading professionals in our town. I am able to confidently speak with them and reach out to them if I ever needed anything. Mrs. Greenwald is a fantastic leader. Without her, none of this class would have been possible for us. She has created this atmosphere for students to have the chance to improve themselves for the future. All of the work she has had to put in to for visits, helping us with the class business, the trade show, and even caring for us as people, she has really went above and beyond for us. Mrs. G, I am so thankful for you. You really pushed me to work hard and be the best I could be. I will always remember the impact that you have made on my life, not only as a teacher, or a facilitator, but as family. You have really changed my life forever, so I say thank you. The last day of CEO was bitter-sweet. We watched two last Craig Talks and talked about our victories. I will dearly miss everyone in the class. And to my future self: NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STORM! (LOL) And that’s a wrap.

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