Local students graduate from Rogers Explorers program

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Five Harlan County Students graduated from the Rogers Explorers program this summer hosted by The Center for Rural Development.

Rogers Explorers is a summer youth leadership program organized by The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, KY. The program takes place on five different college campuses throughout the Commonwealth.

Matthew and Ava Nuñez, representing Harlan County Middle School, both attended the Union College camp. At graduation, Union announced that students would receive a $2,000 scholarship offer upon high school graduation. Both are the children of Dr. Matt and Brandee Nuñez, of Harlan.

Also representing Harlan County Middle School is Miranda Brock and Audrey Goss. Brock is the daughter of Brad and Jennifer Brock, of Baxter. She attended the program at Eastern Kentucky University. Goss is the daughter of Colby and Leslie Goss, of Harlan. She attended the program at Asbury University.

Representing James A. Cawood Elementary School is Plez Dean, the son of Jeff and Samantha Dean, of Evarts. He attended the program at Morehead State University.

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. The 2022 application period will open in December 2021.

Also honored this summer was 2020 Rogers Scholar Sawyer Cornett, a senior at Harlan County High School. The 2020 program was held virtually, so last year’s honorees were invited to the 2021 Rogers Scholars graduation. He is the son of Michael and Mia Cornett, of Benham.

The Center’s youth programs are made possible through the 2021 sponsors: TTAI of Somerset, South Kentucky RECC, Conley Bottom Resort, Outdoor Venture, Community Trust Bank of Somerset, First and Farmers Bank of Somerset, Kentucky Utilities, Lincoln Manufacturing, Forcht Bank of Somerset, and Vaughn and Melton of Middlesboro.

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.

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.