The economy seems to be the focus of most media attention these days. You can’t turn on a radio, television or log onto the internet without hearing something about the current state of our economy. While the economy is a hot topic right now, many of us wish we knew more about our economy, how it works, and what we can do to help improve things. The Logan County 4-H Youth Development Program, along with the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, Russellville High School and Logan County High School are providing an educational program for high school sophomores to help educate our young people about our economy and how it works.
The American Private Enterprise System, or A.P.E.S. for short, began as a pilot program in 2007 as a joint effort designed by the University of Kentucky and implemented by the agencies mentioned above. This program allows selected high school sophomores attending Logan County and Russellville High Schools an opportunity to attend a two day, hands on, educational experience. Each day students listen to local business leaders speak on topics such as our economy, cooperatives, small business and large business. Students also take part in tours of local businesses such as Russellville Dental Labs and Logan Memorial Hospital. Students’ also complete tests to evaluate what they’ve learned. These test scores are then used as a tool to select two students from the group to earn a $100 college scholarship and attend the Kentucky Youth Seminar, held on the University of Kentucky campus each June. This is the state level program where students from across the commonwealth learn and compete for scholarships and a trip to the national program.
This year’s youth scholars who attended the Kentucky Youth Seminar in Lexington were Will Hughes and Jason Fox. At the KYS students again hear seminars, work as members of a board of directors, take tests, and gain an even better understanding of how our economy functions. Students are also able to learn more about college life through speakers, living in the dorms, and campus tours. At this year’s KYS Will and Jason were able to network with other students from across the state and make a few new friends as well. At the end of the three day seminar, our local students definitely came away with some great accomplishments. Will Hughes was selected to attend the National Institute on Cooperative Education in July at Penn State University. This national program is an opportunity for Will to earn additional scholarship money and receive national recognition for his work. Will earned a $900 college scholarship at this year’s Kentucky Youth Seminar. A huge congratulations to each student on their accomplishments and good luck to Will at the national event.