Youth Programs at
The Center for Rural Development

Apply for ELI

2017 ELI Application Now Available! More information below.


To be eligible to apply, the student must:

  • Be a high school freshman, sophomore or junior at a high school located within the 45-county service area of The Center for Rural Development. The forty-five county service area consists of the following Kentucky counties: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.
  • Have a demonstrated interest in business, leadership and entrepreneurship.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4 point scale).


Selection Process

A total of 20 students from The Center’s 45-county service area will be selected for the program in 2017. A selection committee consisting of staff from The Center for Rural Development will be established. In order to ensure fairness, applications will be blinded and applicant names removed prior to distributing copies to the selection committee. The committee will review and score all of the applications according to the criteria and point values established for each section.

 The top 20 applicants with the highest score will be selected to attend the program. All applicants remaining after the first 20 selections will be considered as alternates and will be ranked from the highest to lowest score. If a selected student is unable to attend the program, alternates will be contacted in order of their rank until the open spot is filled. For this reason, all applicants are encouraged to keep the program dates and the possibility of selection in mind as they make their plans for the summer. 

2017 Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute:

Monday, July 24 – Friday, July 28 @ The Center for Rural Development

Ready to apply?!

All applicants are required to complete and submit their application through our online application site. Mailed and emailed applications will not be accepted. Once a student registers on the application site they will have the ability to work at their own pace without losing any work. Students will not need to complete the entire online application process in one sitting – they will have their own username and password to use when logging in each time. In most cases, with exception to the essay and letters of recommendation, the student will download the assignment form, complete and save it to their desktop computer, then upload it back to the application site as prompted.

The application is divided into 5 assignments:

  1. Personal Information
  2. Extracurricular Activities (40 Points)
  3. Entrepreneurial Activities – Outside of School (15 Points)
  4. Typed Essay (35 Points)
  5. Final Assignment (10 Points) – High School Transcript, Student Agreement & Parental Consent


Application deadline: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at midnight (eastern time)


When a student registers on the site for the first time they must use the same first and last name (surname) and email address they will use when filling out the personal information form (Assignment I). If a parent or other adult is assisting with the registration/application process please make sure they do not use their name to register.

It is also important the student uses an email address they will be able to access over the course of the summer. If accepted, the primary method of communication will be through email. In some cases, a student’s school email address may not be the best option.

Applicants will also need access to Microsoft Excel to complete most assignments.

When you click on the link below, it will take you to the application site. Click on the “register” link in the top right hand corner of the page to register for the application.


Start your application now at

Counselors, teachers, and other individuals that will be assisting students with the application process are more than welcome to register on the application site. However, please do not submit any assignments on behalf of a student. Your registration should only be used to familiarize yourself with the application process.