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The American Private Enterprise Systems - APES

High School Juniors Learn from APES


The APES program is not only educational but it is motivational and fun. Six students will attend the State Youth Seminar at the University of Kentucky Campus this June as Hardin County Youth Delegates. These students will attend because they achieved the highest test scores throughout the two-day seminar. While in Lexington, they will compete for cash awards and college scholarships. The six scholars are (left to right) Mariah Kendall (Central Hardin), Chris Willis (Faith Home School), Alex Blair (North Hardin), Matthew Cook (John Hardin), and Jakob Sherrard (Central Hardin). Katelyn Estes (Central Hardin) will also attend but was unavailable for the photo.

Last November, forty-six local students participated in a two-day education seminar that allowed them to learn about corporations, cooperatives, individually owned businesses, legalities of business, and diversity.  These elite students consistently scored high on quizzes and a 50-question final exam; and at the end of the program, six of the teens were awarded a trip to the State Youth Seminar in Lexington this June.

APES, which stands for American Private Enterprise System, offers students from each Hardin County High School (E-town High, Fort Knox, North, Central, and John Hardin) as well as two students from North Hardin Christian and the home school sector, the opportunity to come together at an off-site location to learn about business and the free enterprise system.  The program has been around more than 50 years, and has gained a reputation among students as being one of the top five things to put on a resume.

Helping to strengthen resumes is not the only advantage of this program.  APES also helps to build self-confidence and leadership skills.  The teens are encouraged to network with students from other schools as they work together in groups.  One popular exercise is the board case studies.  This session allows participants to examine real-life issues that may arise in a business.  Students are divided into board groups (each representing a director of the board) and are given situations to study and resolve.  The teams must follow a set of business decision steps in hopes to achieve the best possible result.  Students conclude this exercise by presenting board resolutions to their peers and then must face opposing boards as they explain and support their decisions during the debate session.

Nolin RECC is a major supporter of the Hardin County, as well as LaRue County, APES program.  Electric cooperatives throughout Kentucky are helping to sponsor APES programs in about 35 different counties. 


APES Says Thanks to Community Sponsors

Rex Hanson presents watch to Jakob Sherrard

Clark Jewelers has been providing watches for over 40 years to the outstanding young female and male at the conference.  That adds up to a lot of watches throughout the years!  The Clark family is greatly appreciated for their support and generosity to the APES program.  As the highest scoring APES participants, Katelyn Estes and Jakob Sherrard, both from Central Hardin High School, received a watch donated by Clark Jewelers.

“People’s Choice Award” was presented to Stephanie Bryant (Fort Knox High).  The “Cooperative Spirit Award” was presented to Matthew Cook from John Hardin High.

This youth program, which is reserved for high school juniors, depends largely upon outstanding speakers who volunteer their time.  This year’s speakers included John J. Scott (Whitlow & Scott Associates), Wes Mudd (Your Community Bank), Tim Goblirsch (Fort Knox Staff Judge Advocate), Kenny Rambo (Heartland Communications Consultants), Jerisia Lamons (Elizabethtown Community & Technical College), Hardin County District Judge Kimberly Shumate, and Patsy Whitehead (Nolin RECC).

Without the support of the local community, APES would not be possible.  The program is completely supported by businesses in Hardin County including Clark Jewelers, Cecilian Bank, Coca-Cola, Faith Home School Group, Preferred Memorials, Nolin RECC, Hardin County 4-H Council, North Hardin Christian School, Deveau Appraisals, Logistic Solutions, South Central Bank, and WesBanco Bank. 

Rex Hansen presents a watch to Jakob Sherrard.      



Hardin County District Judge Kimberly Shumate and APES program chair Patsy Whitehead pose for a photo with the 2017-18 American Private Enterprise Systems’ participants at Nolin RECC.






















North Hardin High School students earned the honor of taking home the APES mascot.
They will proudly display it at their school.


Picture of Stephanie Bryant (Fort Knox High) and Matthew Cook from John Hardin High.




A couple of students "monkeying around" for the camera. 

If you or someone you know may be interested in attending a future APES program, please see your high school guidance counselor for more information or contact Patsy Whitehead, Nolin RECC, at 270-765-6153 ext. 3310.




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