EmergeNext is a non-partisan, three-day program of the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center focused on identifying, educating, and engaging young leaders in servant leadership in order to make a positive impact on their community. EmergeNext will introduce young leaders to a variety of issues that impact the Greater Owensboro region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, with a particular focus on developing leadership skills, working together, and learning to compromise to solve problems.

For more information please contact Elizabeth Griffith, Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center at fordgovcenter@gmail.com or call 270-316-8387. Applications can be emailed or mailed to the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center, P.O. Box 1751, Owensboro, KY 42302, Attention- Elizabeth Griffith.


  • Improve the quality of life in the Greater Owensboro region by identifying and cultivating young people as future community leaders;
  • Expose participants to a wide variety of local leadership—governmental, business, and nonprofit—and other notable citizens;
  • Educate and acquaint participants with relevant community issues, their history, and future possibilities.
  • Encourage independent and critical thinking, cooperation, and civility, in order to foster a new generation of responsible citizens and public servants;

The Program:

EmergeNext will consist of three one-day sessions.  Students receive an excused absence from their schools for these days. The sessions will include, but not be limited to the following topics: 1) Challenges and opportunities facing our community and state, 2) Individuals who have made a difference in our community, 3) Ethics in public service, 4) Working together to create a consensus.

Program Requirements:

As a member of EmergeNext program, it is expected that you attend all three sessions and participate fully in group discussions and activities. Students must be freshmen in high school to be apart of the EmergeNext program. 


Apply Online