STERLING – Getting sick the day before an important track meet was the last thing Erin Porter wanted.
The Rock Falls High School junior relay runner managed to recover in time for the Big Northern Conference meet at Oregon High School, and Thursday she won in both of her relays and the 800-meter run.
Her recovery process consisted of, among other things, journaling her feelings, which inspired her to share her process with others.
Freedom Journals will be one of the many companies that students of this year's Whiteside Area Career Center’s Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities class will showcase at the annual trade show, which runs Tuesday and Wednesday at Northland Mall.
Among other things, Porter hopes her journals will help those who look to better their mental heath, seek to further knowledge of and passion for God, or to keep track of their workouts or athletic experiences.
Every page has a motivational quote, and each journal also has a to-do list for marking successfully completed tasks. Porter has designed every cover.
“It helps you become a better person overall,” Porter said. “You’re able to look back on where you were, and focus on improving yourself in every aspect of your life. Instead of repeating the past with bad habits, you can look at changing those and become better.”
Her middle school track coach, Tara Propheter, gave her the journaling idea, and her church’s youth group also utilizes “Jesus Journals” for daily meditations on faith.
Most people these days blog or otherwise use technology for personal documentation, but Porter believes that the longstanding pen-to-paper method has many benefits,
“I think it makes it more personal,” Porter said. “When you write things down, it makes it more real, other than typing something out on your phone.”
THE TRADE SHOW
The annual Whiteside Area Career Center’s Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities trade show runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Northland Mall, 2900 E. Lincolnway.
Two dozen students from Dixon, Sterling, Rock Falls, Newman Central Catholic, Prophetstown, Polo and Forreston high schools will be selling products and services ranging from brownies to lawn care.
Admission is free. Go to wacc-ceo.com for more information.
Here's a look at the other students who will be plying their goods and services:
Aero-View Photography: Grant Minssen can’t see all of his family’s Prophetstown farm from ground level, but he can with a drone. He wants to share the concept with others and help promote and sustain quality local agriculture.
Amour: Olivia Edmondson of Sterling loves makeup, and has concocted different kinds of lip balms and mascara cakes from scratch, using safe and natural ingredients.
Applewood Lawn & Lawnscape: If the name seems familiar to those in Polo, it’s the lawn-care business Justin Young has run since 2016. He looks to expand to fertilization and larger landscape projects involving retaining walls and patios.
Barnwood Barbeque: Newman Central Catholic High School's Brady Moran of Sterling enjoys cooking and grilling, and will be selling dry rubs and seasonings.
Berry & Banana by Elise: Who said chocolate isn’t healthy? Elise Moeller of Rock Falls will be selling fruit kabobs drizzled with chocolate.
Boss Bubble Tea: The cold tea-based drink, popular in Taiwan, is a combination of fruit, milk and tea with tapioca pearls settling at the bottom. Allison Rhodes of Polo hasn’t seen it around the area, and hopes to make it more noticeable.
Bro-Tees: Hunter Buser of Rock Falls has spent a lot of time in the weight room during his years at Newman. Now he wants to spread his love for working out to others through motivational concepts embroidered on tank tops.
Bunches of Scrunches: Alyssa Mathews of Rock Falls wants to help keep your long hair in line. She has homemade scrunchies sold separately and in package deals.
Chelly’s Campfire Brownies: Certain sweet treats from Smoked on 3rd in Sterling have become so popular that Sean Lahey of Dixon, nephew of restaurant co-owner Michelle Burns, looks to make a business out of them. Brownies with toasted mallow cream is one example.
Customz: Nothing is waste to Cailean Davids of Forreston. One day he took some wood and made a birdhouse out of it, and used a discarded license plate as a roof. He's made many more since, using black wood and red barn wood.
Happy Cakes: Don’t let the word “vegan” deter you: Brittney Shipman of Rock Falls will be selling 100% vegan cupcakes oozing with deliciousness, in combinations of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
Klean Eating: Kennedy Anderson of Rock Falls has a clear grasp on what food is considered healthy, and has put together cookbooks with plenty of healthy recipes. They include entrees, snacks, treats, and drinks such as smoothies.
JB’s Cake Pops: Jalen Bickett of Rock Falls believes his idea pops – he'll be selling cake pops in chocolate, and red velvet, among other flavors.
Love N’ Home Decor: Interior design is the career choice for Lauren Moeller of Rock Falls, and she hopes to get a start on it with a variety of customized decorative signs, wood boxes and mason jars. Pick your size, design and color, and she’ll make it.
Motive: Having trouble staying focused? Newman's Kyle Yde of Sterling has found out that his Newman Comets football card, and other words and sentences he sees around him, help with his motivation, and he's sharing the concept with framed motivational pictures and cutouts.
Natural Designs: Newman's Andrew Wilson of Dixon will sell his handmade wooden cutting boards and serving platters, which fit the designs of any kitchen.
On The Wall by Cam: Hang around with Camryn Johnson of Rock Falls – her booth will be full of boards with various hooks and knobs for hanging car keys, mugs and purses.
Resinate with Riley: Epoxy resin letters make things and places stand out, and Newman's Riley Wescott of Rock Falls has a variety of colors and lights to help him stand out.
Rockin’ Designs: Gracie Sandrock of Sterling believes a work-intensive room like a kitchen should have its share of personality– she'll be selling kitchen towels and similar linens with phrases such as "Rock out, cook out."
Serenity by Jo: Candles don’t work without fire, and putting them out creates plenty of smoke. JoHannah Ruff of Erie has found a way to enjoy the scents without having to deal with the fumes.
Sister Sweets: More chocolate? Lauren Humphries and her best friend Gracie Trader, both of Sterling, will have a variety of shapes of Ghirardelli chocolate, covering foods such as strawberries and pretzels.
Spencer’s Silo Nuggets: Corn has been a big part of Spencer Schutz’s life on his family farm in Rock Falls. he's out to make deep-fried corn nuggets popular.
Tampico Tumblers: Prophetstown High School's Meghan Morales, of Tampico, noticed that many of her CEO classmates had coffee tumblers, and she connected that idea with her dedication to the Concerns of Police Survivors foundation. For each blue line and red line tumbler sold, $2 will benefit C.O.P.S. and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.