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Rogers Explorers -- June 2014
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Rogers Explorers Get Early Taste of College

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 [7:23 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Kennedy Bates of Edmonton, Ky., has not started high school yet, but she's already spent time learning on a college campus. Bates was one of 30 rising ninth-graders from 13 Kentucky counties who spent three days at Lindsey Wilson as part of the Rogers Explorers program.

Sponsored by the Somerset-based Center for Rural Development, the eight-year-old Rogers Explorers program exposes rising ninth-grade students to community service, leadership, mathematics and science.

"I have no idea what I want to be , but this has helped give me some ideas," said Bates, who will be a freshman this fall at Metcalfe County High School.

While at LWC from Wednesday, June 11, through Friday, June 13, the Rogers Explorers took classes in communication, energy and science from Lindsey Wilson professors; learned about leadership from LWC Dean of Students Chris Schmidt; and participated in a videoconference with NASA officials.

"The Rogers Explorers program is a good way to keep students intellectually engaged while they are not in school," said Delaney Stephens, community liaison and youth programs coordinator for The Center for Rural Development who runs the Rogers Explorers Program. "We try to get them excited about math and science going into high school, which is a very critical time in their education. By attending this program, we hope to open the possibilities of different careers in math and science."

One of the teachers who opened the students' eyes to career options in energy was Lindsey Wilson Director of of Sustainability Douglas Keaton. Keaton showed the students the college's recycling efforts, which include turning used vegetable oil in biodiesel fuel, soap and fire-starters.

"He taught me that if you put your mind to work, you can do anything," said Joseph Compton of Knob Lick.

Grace Frank of Greensburg said Keaton's class also taught her several valuable lessons that can be applied to everyday life.

"I learned to ask the question, What could I do with this?" she said. "Instead of just throwing something in the trash can, it's important to first find another way to use it."

Destiny Harper of Edmonton said a communication class taught by LWC Assistant Professor of Communication Susan Minton helped her appreciate the differences in gender communication.

"It changed my perspective on some issues and the different ways a message is communicated," she said.

Harper said that Schmidt's leadership session also helped her gain a deeper appreciation for leadership.

"I liked how he made us think about the qualities of a leader," she said.

In addition to giving the students an early taste of college life, Stephens said it is also hoped the Rogers Explorers will be inspired to become leaders.

"We want them to be engaged in their communities and in their schools," he said.

Rogers Explorers also participated in a community service project by taking part in a clean-up around Green River Lake as part of the Somerset-based PRIDE (Personal Responsibility In a Desirable Environment) initiative.

Harper said the activity gave her and fellow Metcalfe County residents to start a PRIDE club next school year at their high school.

"It really inspired us to want to start our own PRIDE club because we think it could have a positive impact on Metcalfe County," she said.

In addition to LWC, this year's Rogers Explorers are studying at Asbury (Ky.) University, University of the Cumberlands (Ky.), Eastern Kentucky University and Morehead State University. Students in the Center for Rural Development's 45-county primary service area are eligible for the tuition-free program.

Students who participated in the Rogers Explorers program at Lindsey Wilson were: Kennedy Bates of Edmonton; Meleah Coffey of Russell Springs; Joseph Compton of Knob Lick; Kamil; Cook of Somerset; Riley Crawford of Science Hill; Logan Dykes of Somerset; Macie Emerson of Liberty; Grace Frank of Greensburg; Harrison Froedge of Tompkinsville; Lily Hamm of Somerset; Natalie Hampton of Somerset; Trae Harmon of Somerset; Austin Harne of Liberty; Destiny Harper of Edmonton; Walker House of East Bernstadt; Jackson Hunt of Campbellsville; Samuel Kessler of Campbellsville; Rowdy Kinser of Lovely; Blake    Lanham of Burnside; Laci Lee of Liberty; Dane Legg of Somerset; Lauren McQuaide of Columbia; Bryce Richardson of Campbellsville; Greer Rutt of Somerset; Hannah Smith of Albany; Ewa Sulicz of Pikeville; Carmen Tallent of Albany; Nathan Terrell of Morehead; Ashton Thrasher of Albany; and Emory Wilds of Somerset.

More ...
Click here to see more pictures from the Rogers Explorers on the LWC Flickr page.
Click here to see more pictures of the Rogers Explorers on Youth Programs at the Center Facebook page.

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