The American Private Enterprise Youth Program
The American Private Enterprise Youth Program



Council of Cooperatives Kentucky

Special thanks to the Kentucky Council of Cooperatives for making this program possible.

Starting a New Program?

We have a Start-up Scholarship for up to 5 counties/year for counties interested in starting a program.


Thank you to Our Leaders

A special thanks goes to community and business leaders who offer their time to support the youth participants in the American Private Enterprise System program as well as the Extension Agents without whom it would be impossible to have this program.  

Students participate in games to build teamwork and leadership.

The high school juniors (Youth Scholars) and seniors (Junior Leaders) who participate in The American Private Enterprise Youth Program are some of the brightest future leaders Kentucky has. They come together first at a local level and then at a state or national level to study how our economy works. They get the opportunity to meet and question local business and professional leaders in their communities and to serve on the board of directors of a corporation or a cooperative and solve problems that real corporations and cooperatives face daily.

A primary program objective is to provide high school juniors, sometimes seniors, with an appreciation of cooperatives as one of the important forms of doing business in the American enterprise system.

Outstanding young people who excel in the local program attend the American Private Enterprise System Youth Seminar each summer where they compete for over $10,000 in scholarships and cash prizes. Participants are invited to share their experiences with council members at special meetings and also in meetings of member cooperatives and other groups.

The American Private Enterprise Youth Program is developed and coordinated by the Kentucky Council of Cooperatives and the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Office of Diversity.

Program Objectives

  • To increase participants' knowledge of the American economic system and global economy through individual and group study.
  • To help prepare participants for an active role in business through involvement with business leaders.
  • To provide an exchange of ideas among youth scholars and local business and professional leaders.
  • To acquaint youth scholars with career opportunities in business.
  • To provide leadership training for youth scholars and junior leaders serving as officers and committee members in local, area, state and national programs.
  • To provide citizenship training for youth scholars and teen leaders as they learn about the American way of doing business.

We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

American Private Enterprise System

Contact Information

400 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg. Lexington, KY 40546