Students Learn Business Through Edwardsville Community Foundation

Jacqueline Glenn, Staff Writer

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It will get you out of class, but according to students, it’ll get you so much more.

The Edwardsville Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program partners with the Edwardsville Community Foundation to give students business experience while still enrolled in high school. Father McGivney Catholic High School, Metro East Lutheran High School and EHS seniors are eligible to participate.

“It’s a business class, but not really,” senior Kenneth Bond said. “We learn life skills and apply it in real-life situations; we get to experience so many things that not a lot of people experience until after high school.”

Participating EHS students attend the class for the first two periods of the school day and then they return to school for the final four. On a day-to-day basis, the students complete tasks such as visiting local businesses, listening to presentations by them or working on one of three in-class businesses that the students create.

“It’s not a normal class where you sit around and hear a lecture.” Bond said. “At first, I didn’t want to take it because they started this program late so I wouldn’t be getting school credit for it.”

But Bond changed his mind.

“As I started hearing more about it, there’s no way I could turn it down,” Bond said. “I realize it was worth it in the long-run.”

Senior Adam Walters said that CEO recently finished its class business of a trivia night and raised $10,000.

“Now, we will use that money to fund our personal individual businesses, which we will work on until the year ends,” Walters said. “During this time, we will continue to visit businesses and hear from them to grow our business knowledge and skills.”

“We have heard from the owners of close to billion-dollar corporations… in addition to touring and hearing from the local businesses we are familiar with.” Walters said.

Edwardsville CEO Facilitator and Program Coordinator Hannah Allison told the Edwardsville Intelligencer that the contacts the program’s students create are valuable for their future careers.

“When students meet investors and feel the support that local businesses provide, they begin to truly believe in the concepts and ideas that are being taught to them.” Allison said.

Walters said he could already notice the program’s influence.

“I hoped that the program would teach me essential business skills and improve my communication skills,” Walters said. “Both things it has already done for me, allowing me to go into my future life and career feeling comfortable and confident.”

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