7 students selected for The Center’s youth programs

The Center for Rural Development has selected seven Harlan County students to participate in its summer leadership programs.

Rogers Scholars
Caleb Rose, a sophomore at Harlan County High School, was selected to join high school students from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky this summer for the 24th annual Rogers Scholars youth leadership program. He is the son of Donald and Rachel Rose, of Baxter.

Rogers Scholars, The Center’s flagship youth program, was established through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) that “no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future.”

The intensive one-week summer program provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for high school students in 45 Kentucky counties to build their skills as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.

“Rogers Scholars is an amazing program designed to give our youth a leg up in expanding their leadership skills while exposing them to new and creative ideas for our region of Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development.

Due to COVID, The Center held its programming virtually last year instead of in-person. The Center is prepared to host in-person programs this summer while taking every precaution possible.

“Above all else, the health and safety of our students is our number one priority,” Lawson continued. “Our programs typically have small groups of around 30 students at each camp. This makes it easier for us to implement our programs in a safe and healthy manner.”

Each graduate of the Rogers Scholars program earns potential access to exclusive scholarship opportunities from some of the state’s top-ranked colleges and universities. To be eligible, students have to complete a community service project in their hometown.

The 2021 Rogers Scholars program will take place on June 6-11 on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, and July 18-23 on the campus of Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. There is no tuition charge to attend the program and lodging and meals are provided at no cost to participants.

Rogers Explorers
Five students from Harlan County were selected to participate in the 16th annual Rogers Explorers program

Four students will represent Harlan County Middle School – Miranda Brock, daughter of Brad and Jennifer Brock, of Baxter; Ava and Matthew Nuñez, children of Matt and Brandee Nuñez, of Harlan; and Audrey Goss, daughter of Colby and Leslie Goss, of Harlan.

One student will represent James A. Cawood Elementary School – Plez Dean, son of Jeff and Samantha Dean, of Evarts.

Rogers Explorers is open to eighth-grade students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky who have a strong interest in developing their skills in leadership, team building, community service, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields of study.

Rogers Explorers is a three-day and two-night program on a leading Kentucky college campus where experts will guide them through hands-on assignments. The program is provided at no cost to eligible students within The Center’s 45-county primary service area.

Rogers Explorers is presented by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, and Union College.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute
Dallas Sergent, of Harlan County High School, will participate in The Center’s 15th annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) this summer on July 26-30 at

The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, KY. He is the son of Dallas and Marlene Sergent, of Baxter.

ELI is a weeklong summer leadership camp for student entrepreneurs. ELI provides high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky with an in-depth look at what it takes to start their own business venture — from idea development to building a model prototype of their business concept.

The Center for Rural Development partners with Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and Eastern Kentucky University to develop the program. During the camp, ELI business teams will compete in the Business Concept Challenge competition. Members of the winning team will earn a $16,000 scholarship from EKU.

For more information about The Center’s youth programs, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at The Center, at across@centertech.com or call 606-677-6019.