SEED, or Scholarships for Education and Economic Development, students have graduated from Kentucky State University with an Associate of Arts Degree with a Con-centration in Small Enterprise Management. As a sendoff to their return to homes in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, 19 were treated to a view of their adopted American host Frankfort from the Kentucky River in canoes.
“We are grateful that CANOE KENTUCKY, a local small enterprise, generously partnered to allow our last class of SEED students to see their host town from this unique and beautiful viewpoint,” commented Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez, Program Coordinator; “it reinforces one of the major purposes of the program: to create a cadre of future leaders with an appreciation of democratic processes and for the US itself.” “In fact the whole community has embraced all of them,” she continued.
Co-sponsored by the Tourism Commission and its Riverfront Development group, the trip covered the downtown stretch from Riverview Park to the Capital Avenue Bridge and highlighted Franks Ford, Bellepoint and Benson Creek, the site of the coming Ward Oates Amphitheatre, the US Courthouse being renovated by KSU, the Frankfort Boat Club docks, the singing Bridge, the Old YMCA, the Daniel Boone’s grave marker on the high hill in Frankfort Cemetery, and other sites that grace the river’s winding route downtown.
So the pride of Frankfort’s riverfront was punctuated with laughter, water fights, and the chatter of young college students from Central American and Caribbean nations.
The other escorts included Tourism Executive Joy Jeffries, SEED Program Assistant Craig Borie, CANOE KENTUCKY Owner/manager and lead guide Nathan Depenbrock, and Channel 10 cameraman accompanied by retired CK staff/owner and Riverfront Development member Ed Councill, whose job was to keep the camera dry. An on-site TV account of the trip will be aired soon.
“It is always a little unnerving when we have a group whose experience and skills are either unknown or non-existent; so we have a safety talk that is supposed to cover the gap sufficiently to match the difficulty of the situation,” explained Depenbrock. “But this group learned quickly; and there were no problems, OK maybe some strange form”, he concluded.
Jeffries will tie in the points along the river that are important additions for the Riverfront Plan and its impact on residents and visitors alike. “Today was a double treat for me,” she stated; “I love this river and enjoy every opportunity to be on it; and our office was lucky to have a SEED student complete her professional intern service requirements with us,” she added. “It was a ‘two-for’!”
"Unfortunately, the partnership between KSU and DC’s Georgetown University has experienced budget stresses to the point that the program will not continue next year. Its 1 million dollar cost was 75% matched by Georgetown leaving $250,000 for KSU to bear. Hopes are that a way can be found to restart the SEED program in the near future."
Contact the Tourism office and Joy Jeffries at 875-8687 or Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez at 597-5813 on the KSU campus for further details.