CARROLL CO. — A Carroll County farmer and Purdue graduate are working hard to help young people from rural villages become tech-savvy and entrepreneurial.
"Living in a rural community, your access to people doing innovative things all over the world is sometimes limited to your hometown," said Neil Mylet, who started the Rural Innovation Network.
He's always wanted to be inventor, but he didn't realize his potential and the endless possibilities until he got to college.
"When you live in a small town, you don't have those opportunities or those resources right at your doorstep as you do in college," said Mylet.
That's why he's created the Rural Innovation Network.
"My passion for this project is to create an eco-system that's both in-person and virtual where we can bring people and resources together to help folks realize their potential is truly great," said Mylet.
Because of COVID-19, the Rural Innovation Network is going online, and Mylet is making it free to any child in Indiana.
"This summer, we are starting with two primary programs. The first is the virtual coding," said Mylet.
Participants will learn how to code from Purdue students, and the other part of the program is a hefty inspirational speaker lineup.
"We've been part of the rural innovation network from the beginning, and I'd say our part mainly is to connect our local employers and students with some really great resources that you wouldn't normally find in our small rural community," said Julia Leahy with the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
She said this network is a passion project for the community.
"If there has ever been a time that a kid is interested in starting their own business or they've had this great idea and didn't know what to do with it now is a perfect time," said Leahy.
Mylet believes where you live shouldn't determine who you become.
"They shouldn't have to determine their level of activity based on you know who lives next door or if is the library open today," said Mylet.
The program starts Monday, May 25, and is targeted towards kids in 3rd through 12th grade. To register, visit ruralcoding.org.