MARION, IL (KFVS) - Future business leaders are emerging right now in southern Illinois.
The program eLaunch, based only in Williamson County, prepares high school students to rise above everyday business leaders. The class begins every weekday at 7:30 A.M. All students are required to dress in professional business attire.
eLaunch Williamson County is a hands-on entrepreneurial course that helps students network within the business community in southern Illinois. Students will participate and develop a class business, a personal business, and participate in a trade show at the end of the year. This year's Trade Show is Wednesday, April 18th from 4-6pm at the Pavilion of the City of Marion.
This year's class is comprised of 10 hard-working students from county high schools:
Kameron Dover, Jackson Bradley and Nick Cornaghie, of Marion High School; Matthew Segner, Tyler Bittle and Keaton Pestka of Carterville High School; Spencer Pass and Hannah Sappington of Herrin High School; Kristin Payne and Dakota Brown of Crab Orchard High School.
During the school year, students will meet local entrepreneurs, participate in organizational meetings, tour local businesses, and hear from guest speakers. Students will focus on aspects of entrepreneurship such as operations, human resources, basic business accounting, marketing, and development of leadership skills.
The organization's facilitator, Brandi Bradley, educates and guides these students to achieve their full potential. She believes in a future for every one of the young adults who worked hard enough to receive the benefits of the class.
"Students learn first-hand from business owners and community leaders," Mrs. Bradley says. "Part of the program is they develop their own class business, which funds their individual business. The board and I are really excited about this year's class business due to the students partnering with the community to achieve their ambitious goal."
This year, the class is hoping to exceed the record for the largest amount of funds raised for eLaunch. This year, the eLaunch students are purchasing a Kawasaki Mule SX from a local business, and the Watermark Auto Group, Pass One Hour Heating & Air, Brad Olson Attorney at Law, First Southern Bank, and CORE Pharmacy are among the sponsors helping the students raise money as they raffle off the side by side utility vehicle.
This year, the class is hoping to raise the bar for the largest amount of funds raised for eLaunch. The class hopes to raise enough money to topple to previous year's class businesses.
"We are looking forward to the raffle at our trade show on April 18," says Carterville's Tyler Bittle. "We set our goals high in order to raise more money for our personal businesses. We have been moving along, coming closer to our goal each day."
Crab Orchard senior Kristin Payne says, "I have been utilizing the valuable skills we have learned from business professionals for selling our raffle tickets. These selling skills will be used in our personal businesses at the end of the school year."
So far, the class has been very successful in selling tickets for the raffle. For more information about eLaunch and its activities, or to purchase a raffle ticket, visit www.eLaunch.org/raffle.