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Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton speaks at Henderson Co. High School assembly

Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton speaks at Henderson Co. High School assembly

Bill Stephens

May 11th, 2016



HENDERSON, KY, May 10, 2016 – She served as a computer systems officer in the Air Force, but these days the key words in Jenean Hampton’s job description are “entrepreneurship,” “education” and “example.”

That’s how she described what she does as lieutenant governor of Kentucky to students at Henderson County High School during an assembly on Tuesday morning.

With “entrepreneurship,” she said, her office is in the planning stages of a program that should be ready by fall for high school and college students called the “Lieutenant Governor’s Challenge.”

“The contest will be for you all to take a kernel of an idea and develop it into a business,” Hampton said, noting that it will build upon the work already in place of innovation centers and Junior Achievement.

With “education,” she’s promoting education in all of its forms to all ages. That means speaking to young people who are in the process of choosing a career path and encouraging older people to keep at it.

“I want you all to know what your options are, but more than that I want you to be life-long learners,” Hampton said, explaining that that doesn’t necessarily mean sitting in a classroom.

Some of her personal learning pursuits have included a Master Gardening program, electric guitar lessons and country line dancing. “It means learning something just because you want to,” she said.

Being an “example” means sharing her life story with classrooms and youth leaders, relating how she grew up in poverty in Detroit to rise to rank of captain in the United States Air Force.

She shared that story with students on Tuesday, describing how a fascination with science and a dream of being an astronaut colored what she read, what she watched on television and the things she pursued as a youth and young adult.

Hampton described how her interest in learning transferred from her formative years to her military life and then to a 19-year private sector career.

“I was always asking questions and curious about how the whole plant worked,” she said. “I got promoted and became plant manager.”

Now she’s putting that same energy into learning about politics, she said. “The year I met (Gov.) Matt Bevin, I had taken my hands off the steering wheel and acknowledged that God was completely in charge of my life,” Hampton added.

She found herself encouraging people to become interested and participate in government, and then suddenly she was on Bevin’s gubernatorial ticket.

“I drove 50,000 miles in 10 months criss-crossing the state,” Hampton said, asking students if they remembered the exact outcome of the election. “We won by 83 votes. Never let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t count. As soon as you are of voting age, register to vote and go vote. Your vote does count.”

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Caption: Henderson County High School student J.T. Farley greets Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton as she takes the stage Tuesday morning in an assembly. Farley introduced Hampton before she spoke.

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Caption: Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton shakes hands with Bailey Stauffer as she meets student ambassadors before her assembly program.




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