Mia Granados, a senior at Streeter High School, expressed her appreciation for the Streeter Area CEO Program, saying that it has opened her heart to the possibilities of starting her own business. Together with eight other students, she ran a total of eight different businesses, culminating with a trade show in Eastwood. Granados was in charge of the Boba Center, which offered boba teas made from tea, milk, and black tea. Through the CEO program, she gained knowledge on advertising, raising money, making a profit, and creating a business. She enjoyed the experience and hopes to continue exploring the world of entrepreneurship.
Derek Barrichello, one of the students in the program, explained the four easy steps of a model business during the trade show. Throughout the semester, business leaders from various industries acted as guest speakers, sharing their insights on networking, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship, among others. The students’ products were sold and exhibited during the trade show. Alexandra Austin, who founded Coastline T-Shirts, said several customers signed up to order her custom shirts, and she sees herself continuing this as a side business someday. Haley Barrett, who sold cakes from her bakery Panda, had a very successful sales day and expressed interest in starting her own business after graduating.
Other businesses showcased at the trade show included Secondhand Stories, a gently used bookstore by Sara Dye, Trenazon (a health supplement business) by Steven Goplin and Landen Mascote, Jett’s Garden in a Pot (a garden kit business) by Jett Mehalic, and Cerda Cuts (a haircutting industry business) by Christian Cerda. Last year’s student, Mr. Rodriguez, who launched his taco business La Taqueria Saucedo, spoke highly of the program and how it helped him succeed in business creation.
The Streeter Area CEO Program, now in its third year, is financed by local investors and aims to teach business and networking skills. Program directors believe that their approach of providing hands-on experience with business fundamentals will prepare their students better for the future and work towards developing their entrepreneurial spirit.