New entrepreneurship program planned for HS students | News, Sports, Jobs

MARSHALL – A new, privately funded initiative aims to introduce teens to the rewards and challenges of business.

The program, called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, is in the early stages of school districts in Marshall and Murray County Central. School systems are working together to offer the CEO course to high school juniors and seniors starting in fall 2022.

The one-year class will allow students to acquire a variety of learning experiences that mirror the daily activities of a workplace.

One element will involve starting and operating a classy business. There will also be business visits, guest speakers and hands-on learning at the host sites.

“It’s different from any other course they can take in high school” said Beth Ritter, director of teaching and learning at Marshall Public Schools. “They will go beyond the four walls of a classroom. It is a chance to learn directly from employers and gain experience with business concepts.

To fund the program, school officials expect employers to invest $ 1,000 per year for three years. The funding will help pay for a part-time CEO facilitator. It will also cover the cost of classroom materials.

The goal is to start the program with $ 35,000 in seed money. Ritter said about $ 10,000 has already been pledged.

In addition to funding, the organizers are soliciting employers to find those who wish to serve as welcome sites, where the class can visit the workplace for hands-on learning. Employers can also serve as one-on-one mentors for class members, facilitate workplace tours, and tour the class as guest speakers.

Ritter said employers are likely to see a return on their investment because of the opportunity to help young people who are likely to become valuable employees in the future.

“One of the needs of rural communities is to retain and attract young workers”, she said. “There are good job prospects in our region. The CEO program will connect students with employers in a way that leads to future employment.

The class will be limited to about twenty students. It is open to all high school and high school students. They will be chosen through a merit-based application process.

“It’s different from the internships that high schools already offer”, Ritter said. “They will have a wide variety of classroom experiences and meet a full range of professionals. This should help them refine their career goals. “

She predicts that students will enter the CEO class with great personal motivation, based on making the most of the experiences in the class rather than just fulfilling the graduation requirements.

“The benefits will depend greatly on the time and effort invested by the students”, she said. “This is a good opportunity for any student who wants to branch out into the community and learn directly from employers. “

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