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The Total Care Center ELI team presents its business idea before a panel of business executives acting as financial lenders during last year's Business Concept Challenge.

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky will have an opportunity this summer to grow their business and entrepreneurial skills at The Center for Rural Development’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) youth leadership program.

The Center has selected 34 high school students from within its 42-county primary service area to attend the 2012 session of ELI. During the camp, they will work with some of the region’s top business and entrepreneurial leaders to build skills necessary to launch a start-up business.

“ELI focuses on creativity, teamwork, and the development of business skills, and encourages participants to consider starting their own business as a career option,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “Many of these students will utilize the skills they learn during the week at ELI to become the region’s next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

ELIone of three annual summer youth leadership programs coordinated and administered by The Centerwill be held June 10-15 on the grounds of The Center in Somerset.

“We look forward to working with these young, aspiring leaders of Southern and Eastern Kentucky. By giving participants hands-on training, they receive tools that will help them achieve their business and career goals.”
Delaney Stephens
youth programs coordinator and community liaison

During the week, ELI participants work together in teams to develop a business plan and present that plan to a panel of potential investors in a business concept competition on the final day of the program.

The winning team members of ELI’s Business Concept Competition are eligible to receive a Presidential Scholarship from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in Richmond, Ky.

The Center is proud to announce the following high school students will represent their home communities as ELI participants:

  • Natalie Whitt—Bath County
  • Madison Lee—Casey County
  • Kaley Allen and Rachyl Harmon—Clay County
  • Jay Winkler—Estill County
  • Seth Hedgespeth—Green County
  • Diana Moskalyuk—Jessamine County
  • Kerrigan Samons—Johnson County
  • Chelsea Gray, Tj Melton, Zachary Mitchell, Kimberly Brown, and Marcus Todd—Knox County
  • Savanna Noe—Lee County
  • Nicholas Herrmann—Laurel County
  • Caitlin King, Kelsie Brown, and McKayla Hamlin—McCreary County
  • Brooke Dials and Madison Duff—Martin County
  • Alyssa Price—Morgan County
  • Jordyn Bray, Trista Brown, Makayla Bush, Ethan Call, Lisa Carter, Bradley Correll, Matthew Crawford, and Kaylee Wilson—Pulaski County
  • Brooke Ratliff—Rowan County
  • Lesley Roy—Russell County
  • Devin Morrow, Brett York, and Carson Staples—Wayne County