Caldwell selected to attend ELI program

Special to Civitas Media

Chelsey Caldwell

Harlan County High School student Chelsey Caldwell is building her business and entrepreneurial skills this summer at The Center for Rural Development’s 2016 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI).

ELI, one of The Center’s summer youth leadership programs, gives participants an in-depth look at what it takes to start their own business venture — from idea development to building a prototype of their business concept.

“We have completely revamped the program to give young aspiring student entrepreneurs the skills they need to become successful business owners and entrepreneurs in southern and eastern Kentucky,” said Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center. “Our students will still be forming a business idea and writing a business plan, but they will also be developing a prototype of their idea.”

The Center is partnering with the Kentucky Innovation Network in Richmond and the Community & Leadership Development Department at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Most of the curriculum is based on the E-Discovery Program developed by UK’s Community & Leadership Development Department.

“For the first time, students will be working with 3D printers to produce a model prototype,” Stephens said. “The program this year will focus on idea development and how to sell that idea.”

The ELI program will be held on the campus of The Center in Somerset during the week of June 13-17. The program is open to high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors within The Center’s 45 county primary service area in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

Members of the winning student team will earn a $3,500 renewable scholarship from Eastern Kentucky University.

Chelsey is the daughter of Allyson and George Caldwell, of Wallins.

For more information on the ELI program, call 606-677-6000, email [email protected], or visit

Chelsey Caldwell Caldwell

Special to Civitas Media

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