Students with the Riverbend CEO program.

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ALTON - The Riverbend CEO program will host a trivia night fundraiser on Feb. 17, 2024. Proceeds will support the students’ businesses.

Starting at 6 p.m. at the Best Western Premier in Alton, attendees can enjoy eight rounds of general trivia, a cash bar and mini games. The fundraiser benefits the Riverbend CEO program, which helps 15 high school students develop a business plan and start their own businesses by the end of the school year.

“I don’t think we would’ve gotten the opportunity if we would’ve taken another class,” said Sam, one student who will be starting a yoga business.

Other students are hoping to start a photography business, a power-washing business and a candle-making business. One student plans to buy and sell gym equipment, and another hopes to restore old cars. Parker wants to sell puzzles of Alton monuments, and Derrell, who snagged a gold sponsor for the trivia night, has an idea to create a vending machine that can carry both drinks and snacks.

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The Riverbend CEO program helps the students develop their ideas, but it also encourages them to share their ideas and look for investors. The students noted that the program has taught them a lot about time management, how to engage with adults and other business owners, and how to follow through on their plans.

“I plan to start my own baking business,” Jada said. “I would like to do birthday party things. I’m going to sell custom cupcakes, cakes, cookie cakes, and I’m trying to work on how I’m going to do cake pops, cut-out sugar cookies with the icing designs. I’ve been working on those for two years. The class and high school has inspired me to want the business more and to share it with other people to get their opinions.”

For a lot of the students, the businesses will either be their focus after graduation or create passive income while the kids are in college. All of the students are hopeful that their businesses will succeed.

The students decided to plan the trivia night so they can fund their ideas and get them off the ground. If all goes as planned, every kid will walk away with $550 as a nest egg to start their business.

You can purchase a table of eight for $100 to support the students of Riverbend CEO. The students are also looking for sponsors for the trivia night. All of the money goes back to the students and the Riverbend CEO program.

Check out the Riverbend CEO Program Facebook page or email to buy tickets or inquire about becoming a sponsor. You can find out more about the trivia night at the official Facebook event.

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