“We should be taught about money! Teachers should invite a banker on career day to come and speak to us about budgeting and different financial situations” Jonas W., 8th Grader

Career Exploration Opportunities, or C.E.O., is a financial literacy, career development and entrepreneurialism program created to help students learn to be self-sufficient adults, prepare them for the 21st century economy, and inspire long-term career planning. Students are taught how to budget, save, and spend wisely, as well as what it means to have credit. Investment and economic concepts are explored using virtual stock portfolios and board games. CEO connects youth with community leaders and role models from government, business, and the nonprofit sectors to learn 21st century workplace skills. Students visit local businesses and interview professionals they meet. CEO uses business school case studies to explore how principles learned in the classroom can be applied to real world business problems.

CEO also incorporates an entrepreneurialism component where students learn how to launch a business from start to finish.  They’re tasked with identifying a consumer need, conducting market research, identifying competition, developing a business plan, creating a tangible product, finding investors and marketing their idea. They are also introduced to social entrepreneurship by applying business and economic theories to solve social problems. This allows students to learn hands-on business planning while positively impacting social and economic issues in their community. If you want to learn more about the initiative please take a look at “How Out of School Time Programs Can Support the Nation’s Economic Recovery” by Aaron Dworkin

C.E.O. Boot Camp

Preparing students for a changing Workforce and Competitive Economy – ASAS will convene 30 of our most impressive youth leaders in Chicago for a CEO-focused leadership training. The camp will offer students training on public speaking, goal-setting, teamwork, and leadership skills, with an eye toward developing students’ business skills and encouraging long-term career planning.


Program Partners 
Operation Hope
Lemon Day
Jump Start
America’s Promise Alliance
Program Funders
The Hearst Foundations