By Sharon Dodson, The Center for Rural
LeeAnn Grider of Russell County has
been selected by The Center for Rural Development to attend the
Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) and grow her business and
entrepreneurial skills as a representative of the region’s next
generation of leaders.
Grider, a student at Russell County
High School, will attend ELI during the week of June 13-18 on The
Center’s main campus in Somerset, where she will work with business
professionals to receive the tools to launch a start-up business.
This year, The Center has expanded
enrollment in ELI to give a total of 35 high school students in
Southern and Eastern Kentucky a chance to learn more about what it
takes to start a business from the ground up by developing their own
business plans in a team project.
“ELI focuses on creativity,
teamwork, and the development of business skills, and encourages
participants to consider starting their own business as a career
option,” Jessica Melton, associate director of education and
training, said. “As a team, they work together 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.”
Members of the first-place business
concept team are eligible to receive a Presidential Scholarship from
Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in Richmond, Ky. The winning team
also will be recognized at the 2010 Excellence In Entrepreneurship
Awards (EIEA) luncheon program on Sept. 13 at The Center.
ELI—one of three summer youth
programs sponsored by The Center—inspires students to be creative
thinkers, work as a team, and develop critical business ownership
“We’ve had several innovative and
potentially successful businesses pitched to the panel over the
years,” Melton said. “Their ideas are always interesting,
creative, and thought-provoking, and are another great example of
some of the talent we have in Southern and Eastern Kentucky among our
region’s future business leaders and entrepreneurs.”
High school freshmen, sophomores, and
juniors within The Center’s 42-county primary service area are
eligible to apply for ELI. Program expenses (excluding transportation
costs to and from the host site) are provided free of charge to
participants and their parents.
Grider is the daughter of Terry and
Deanna Grider of Jamestown.