About Us

A Community With A Vision

In 2005, a group of community leaders that included educators, city and county leaders, Chamber of Commerce and the Effingham County Community Foundation, recognized that 80% of all American businesses are small business owners and it is those business owners that provide jobs and prosperity for our communities and the country. This visionary group recognized that entrepreneurs have changed the world, yet our youth are not sufficiently exposed to entrepreneurial opportunities. Seed money was raised from local individuals and businesses to support a three-year pilot entrepreneurship program for high school students. The Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, consisting of educators, entrepreneurs, community leaders and government officials, provides ongoing guidance for the three-year pilot program called "CEO" - Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities!

Our Mission

To provide a comprehensive educational experience for Effingham County high school students, equipping them to be enterprising individuals and entrepreneurial thinkers who contribute to the economic development of Effingham County.


Being a part of the CEO class is something that is Life Changing…

The CEO class embodies everything that our country was built upon. The core principles of hard work, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurship are values that we experience everyday through CEO. So now the excitement accelerates as the 12th Effingham CEO class begins the journey…

The 2020 CEO class begins in August. Class beings promptly at 7:30 AM and ends at 9:00 AM.

The class will kick off with students designing and selecting lanyards to wear to class each day. This practical exercise fosters healthier communication and stronger networking skills among the class before they start to network with the Effingham Community.

  • The CEO class meets Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM—9:00AM and is a year-long, two credit high school course with pending college dual accreditation.
  • The class meets in local businesses and changes location every nine weeks.
  • In addition to providing a professional business setting for the class, the various locations help students from multiple school districts establish a common identity based on their CEO experience.
  • The class is offered to high school seniors throughout Effingham County.
  • A key part of the success enjoyed by the class is rooted in a facilitator who challenges each individual student and can manage constant change in the classroom.  In addition, encouraging the active participation of business and community leaders adds to the cultivation of learning opportunities, mentoring, and networking.
  • Support from school administrators throughout the county is essential to the development and ongoing success of the class and that support is evident in the cooperation and scheduling of students from multiple school districts.
  • Funding comes from Business Partners, the Effingham Community Foundation and student projects.
  • The student selection process is a defined process beginning with the school recommendation with the addition of a written request for admission, a student applicant must submit letters of recommendation and complete an entrepreneurial profile. Grades are not the defining admission standard.
  • CEO is a year long, two-credit high school course.

What People Say About Effingham County CEO