BRIGHT Kentucky

BRIGHT Kentucky is designed to build the capacity of next-generation leaders (average age 20-40) in the Appalachian region of Kentucky to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development. BRIGHT Kentucky will engage bright, entrepreneurial minds from all sectors and regions to offer non-partisan, ethical leadership training, expanded networks, and mentors designed especially for residents of the 54 Kentucky counties of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

Press Release from Governor Bevin's office. 

Program Information

BRIGHT Kentucky is made possible by a $500,000 ARC grant and private funding from the Whitaker Foundation and others. The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments, including Kentucky, focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation. Click to view ARC County Map in Kentucky. 

A major focal point of BRIGHT Kentucky is to help participants fully understand the local economic context and to build robust skill sets in communication, collaboration, consensus building, visioning, and community engagement. Participants will complete the program with the skills necessary to think long-term and strategically to build upon the strengths of their communities and lead the region to a more prosperous future. 

ARC Map with Locations

Session Dates and Locations

  • July 29-31: Natural Bridge Region (Campton, Natural Bridge)
    •    Understanding and Maximizing Your Leadership Style (this session is mandatory)
  • September 4-6: Big Sandy Region (Pikeville, Paintsville, Prestonsburg)
    •    Understanding and Making a Case for the Region
  • September 23-25: Cumberland Region (Corbin, Somerset, Monticello)
    •    Collaborating for Higher Impact
  • October 28-30: Daniel Boone Region (Richmond, Berea, Frankfort)
    •    Advocating for the Region
  • November 20-22: Gateway Region (Morehead, Central Kentucky)
    •    Activating the Vision and Graduation

BRIGHT Kentucky Participants

The target audience for participation will be the 20-40 age group representing the next-generation of leaders. The curriculum is designed to inspire and energize participants who live and work in Eastern Kentucky to stay in Eastern Kentucky and make a difference in their home communities. It is expected that participants will attend all sessions, but the first session in July is mandatory.

BRIGHT Kentucky Application

The application process for BRIGHT Kentucky 2019 is closed. BRIGHT Kentucky is made possible by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and private funding from the Whitaker Foundation and others. Therefore, this program will be offered free-of-charge to approximately 50 participants in 2019 and another 50 in 2020.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Norton Healthcare
Kentucky Power
Maker's Mark
RunSwitch PR
Kentucky Chamber
Republic Bank
St. Elizabeth
Whitaker Bank
Kentucky Proud
Beam Suntory
CHI St Joseph Healthcare