CEO For A Day! Soars to New Heights | CBCC Initiative
With joint funding support by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government, the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce (CBCC)’s youth mentoring program, CEO For A Day!, has been going from strength to strength.
After a highly successful pilot in December 2022, our community has embraced our program enthusiastically. Local CEOs, business owners, and community leaders are eager to become volunteer mentors. Dozens of aspiring local senior high school students have signed up for our program. Five local schools (and counting!) have now become program partners: Bankstown Girls High School, Bass High School, Birrong Boys High School, Birrong Girls High School, and Condell Park High School, and the CBCC hopes to launch CEO For A Day to more eager students in our neighbouring areas of Liverpool and Strathfield.
First conceived after the CBCC Youth Committee raised concerns that young people were feeling increasingly insecure about their adult lives after school, CEO For A Day is bringing valuable wisdom, wide-ranging experiences, and industry engagement to senior high school students from Years 10 to 12.
Clare Pearson, CEO of Little Wings, shared that her experience with her mentee was a great chance to expose them to the not-for-profit industry and give back to the community.
As the leader of a charity that provides free air and ground transport to seriously sick children in regional NSW to receive life-saving treatment in major cities, Clare understood that her mentee may have felt a bit nervous coming to Little Wings before the day started. However, over the course of his time at Little Wings, he definitely opened up and really engaged in the tasks and activities planned by Clare.
He even got to sit in one of the Little Wings planes and talk to a Little Wings volunteer pilot!
Other participants had similarly positive experiences at our latest CEO For A Day.
Najla Turk, the mind behind ConnEQt, is certain that CEO For A Day is a great opportunity for both the mentee and mentor. As a teacher and educator, Najla strongly believes that young people need career input from other leaders and inspirational people. With a mentee that she recognised had a big heart and aspirations, Najla provided her with experts in her field of interests to help ensure that her mentee stays motivated, and that her goals are SMART and achievable.
Her mentee had a correspondingly great experience, who drew inspiration from Najla’s journey and life experiences and how that affected her journey as a CEO. Her time with Najla, she believes, was an excellent opportunity to meet and work with her for the program.
“My mentor [Najla Turk from ConnEQt] was a truly inspirational person, role model, and friend. It was lovely hearing her story and how she got to where she is, shining hope and excitement for me. I am intrigued and cannot wait to implement her practices, lessons and teachings to not only educate myself but others around me.”
– Participating Student, Bossley Park High School
Jo Johnston, co-director of Collappor8 with Leah Ostermeyer, was keen to show her mentee a different side to being a business owner and leader. Hailing from Manly, her mentee had personally applied to CEO For A Day as a self-initiated extra curricular during her school holidays to learn more about what it takes to be a leader.
And learn she did! At the time of CEO For A Day, Collappor8 was in the midst of building their new office in Bankstown. From considering inclusive lighting options to the optimal width of each desk to where each power outlet would be placed, Jo walked her eager mentee through each element to demonstrate the importance of making decisions that balance the needs of each team member whilst promoting productivity and inclusivity.
Now that the Collappor8 office is complete, Jo hopes to show her mentee just how each decision came to life in the end.
Over at MWLP, Michael Everett spent his day helping his mentee understand how his current skills could be used to help him get to his goals. Michael recognises that young people are not always sure about where they are headed and how they need help to see what skills they already possess to help them along the way, and is keen to continue helping his mentee going forward to achieve his goals.
Likewise, Dinaaz Lentin of Lentin Pty Ltd enjoyed sharing life skills with her mentee to reach their potential. She is keen to recommend the CEO For A Day program to other CEOs and community leaders to continue this great initiative and support more ambitious and eager young people in our community.
“We spoke about ways [my mentee] could achieve his goals and some of the skills he already has to help him on the way. I think this really gave him a sense of confidence and realised that he had more skills than he realised.”
– Michael Everett, MWLP
Be Part Of The Inspiration
The CBCC recognises that there is strong potential for growth, improvement, and connection for both young people and local leaders through our program. With such great feedback and experiences from our volunteer mentors and eager mentees from our latest round of CEO For A Day, the CBCC is excited to continue receiving strong support from our community to continue running CEO For A Day and empower our leaders of tomorrow.
Sign up to CEO For A Day and be part of the inspiration.