Eight Harlan County students selected for The Center for Rural Development’s youth programs

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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

Rogers Scholars

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Miranda Brock, a current sophomore at Harlan High School, will join high school students from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky this summer for the 26th annual Rogers Scholars youth leadership program. Brock is the daughter of Jennifer and Brad Brock 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.

“The Center’s Youth Programs are unique opportunities for our young leaders to make an impact and explore what’s next for them in education and through service to their communities,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “The programs give them the tools they need in order to thrive in their personal goals and how to make an impact in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”

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 must complete a community service project in their hometown.

The 2023 Rogers Scholars Program will take place on June 4-9 on the campus of Morehead State University and June 25-30 on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College. There is no tuition charge to attend the program and lodging and food is provided at no cost to participants.

Rogers Explorers

Five 8th graders, Addison Truitt, Daniel Mosley, and Zachary Sergent from Rosspoint Elementary, Gwendolyn Toll from Harlan Middle School, and Elisabeth Hensley from Harlan Independent, were selected for the 18th annual Rogers Explorers Program. Truitt is the daughter of Adam and Tabitha Truitt of Baxter. Mosley is the son of Dan and Stephanie Mosley of Baxter. Sergent is the son of Dallas and Marlene Sergent of Baxter. Toll is the daughter of Bryan and Ashley Toll of Baxter. Hensley is the daughter of Todd and Billie Henlsey of Cawood.

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.

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, University of the Cumberlands, and Union College.

Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute

Two students from Harlan County High School, Shania Middleton, a freshman, and Plez Dean, a sophomore, were selected for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute. Middleton is the granddaughter of Bobby and Josephine Middleton and daughter of Angie Bratcher of Loyall. Dean is the son of Jeff and Samantha Dean of Evarts.   

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 scholarship from EKU.

For more information about The Center’s youth programs, contact Amber Decker, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at The Center, at adecker@centertech.com or call 606-677-6000.