Lt. Gov. kicks off ‘Entrepreneurship Challenge’ in Danville

Published 6:37 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Kentucky’s lieutenant governor visited Danville High School Tuesday to kick off her Entrepreneurship Challenge and speak with local students about college and career success.

Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton announced the challenge before the DHS student body in Gravely Hall in the morning, then visited three different classes — AP U.S. History, AP World and medical terminology, a class in the Allied Health career pathway — and enjoyed lunch before leaving shortly before 1 p.m., Principal Haley Ralston said.

Ben Kleppinger/
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton speaks to sophomores in an AP world class at Danville High School Tuesday afternoon.

The Entrepreneurship Challenge encourages high school students across the state to pitch business ideas and compete for scholarships awarded to the top four teams.

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“The goal is to introduce students to a realistic business environment, highlight entrepreneurial values, promote business ownership and encourage lifelong learning,” according to the challenge’s website,

“Students, I know that we have the most talented and innovative student body in the state of Kentucky, and I know that some of you could enter and win this challenge,” Ralston told students during the morning event. “I encourage you to do that. I have already heard from Coach Dean that some of his marketing students have come up with some good ideas.”

During her visit to the AP World class, Hampton told students if they decide to go to college, they should make sure they’re going to study something that interests them and that they know they can make a living doing. Otherwise, “don’t waste your money and don’t waste your time.”

One student told Hampton many students at DHS live in poverty; she asked what Hampton thinks the government should do about helping low-income students go to college.

Hampton said people can overcome the obstacle of not having a lot of money and still go to college if they put their minds to it.

“If you start with the mindset that you will get to college, you can get to college,” she said. “… The role of government is not to give everybody a scholarship to go to college.”

Hampton said she had to work to put herself through college and it took her nine years to finish. She also suggested students look for companies to work for that offer tuition reimbursement.

Hampton told students while she doesn’t like the political side of her job as much, she loves being able to promote entrepreneurship and encourage girls to get interested in science, technology, engineering and math fields. Hampton said girls often “shy away” from those fields without really knowing whether they would like them. She encouraged female students to give those areas a try by taking a course they think they might not enjoy.

“I went through high school thinking I wanted to be an accountant. I have no clue where that came from. … If I had bothered talking to my guidance counselor, she would have pointed out that everything screamed engineering school,” she said. “Somehow, I missed that, and so as a result, in high school, I didn’t take calculus, and I could have; I didn’t take physics, and I could have — all these things that would have prepared me for engineering school, I skipped. So my advice to you is first of all, talk to your teachers, talk to your guidance counselor, talk to your principal, talk to the adults in your lives and help them help you figure out what it is you might like to do. You gotta start doing something when you’re 18, whether you’re in school or working, whatever it is.”