As the year draws to a close...

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s a perfect time to reflect just a bit on the past year.   It’s been a year of growth for the Midland Institute and CEO.  We now have something like 28 CEO classes either currently operating or in the pipeline for a fall 2015 launch.  Those classes will serve hundreds of students from nearly 125 high schools in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri. 

As I travel around the CEO network, I meet young people who are stand out from most of their peers.  They’re poised, engaged, curious, passionate, and hard working.  I hear comments all the time, like “I have to remind myself these are high school students, not 35 year-old business professionals.”

I meet young people who have big ideas, young people who see their communities in a brand new light, and young people who realize that they’re capable of much more than they ever dreamed.

Last month I watched as two students who have been a part of the Sangamon CEO program in Springfield, IL as they appeared on national television segment on Fox and Friends. 

I’ve watched CEO students speak to groups, both large and small, about CEO and what it’s done for their lives and their future.

I’ve observed our CEO facilitators as they help students navigate the CEO experience.  Our facilitators are on the front lines of a revolution in learning, and they innovate, encourage, and empower young people in powerful ways. 

You know why it all works?  Because of the investors and other successful adults who interact with CEO students every day.  The best resource every community possesses is their adults.  When you create an environment that connects adults who have a wealth of life experience with young people who are engaged and curious, amazing things happen.   Those of us who are lucky enough to be associated with CEO see it every day.

2015 promises to be just as exciting.  Thanks to all everyone who shares our passion for communities and young people!