My name is Amari, and I would love to open a bakery. I am an introvert, and I am often times afraid to express my ideas. However, I know I want to open a bakery, and I know I want to study business in college. The Sangamon CEO program will teach me how to start my business, write a business plan and how to follow through. It will also give me an advantage when applying to business school.

Through group activities and exercises, I have been gaining more confidence and speaking up more. At the beginning of the school year, we were split into 10 different groups. I was in a group with students from three other schools. That pushed me to get out of my comfort zone.

A couple months later, we were working on our Zombie 5k race. My group was part of the “expo”—where the real fun, food and games were. It was part of my job to come up with games for the kids. My friend Kaitlyn came up with the idea of counting candy, while I suggested which candy to use for the count. Although this was a very small thing, it felt good to speak up and be heard. As an introvert, this was a big step for me, and it was rewarding.

This is Sangamon CEO—we feel rewarded for getting out of our comfort zones. This semester, I am building up courage and confidence for the trade show. I am looking forward to it and sharing my idea for my bakery.

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