The old saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” could not be more true for Lindsey Wilson College instructor Douglas Keaton.

Rogers Explorers learned that valuable lesson while attending one of Keaton’s sustainability classes on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia.

“Mr. Keaton showed us that nothing you see is a waste,” said Rogers Explorers graduate Lauryn Agathen, 14, of Taylor County. “He demonstrated an innovative way to turn used vegetable oil into healthy, usable soap.”

Keaton, instructor of Energy Technology Career, Department of Office of Sustainability, is known on campus for taking everyday objects, discarded and thrown in the trash, and turning them into new, usable products.

During a classroom presentation, Keaton showed the incoming class of high school freshman students how to make a cup from a discarded glass bottle and homemade, eco-friendly soap from used vegetable oil.

He also challenged Rogers Explorers “to think outside the box” and not to be afraid to step outside their comfort zones and try different experiences.

Several Rogers Explorers tasted honey from a bee hive for the first time and were encouraged to sample fresh green beans straight from a vegetable garden on campus.

“Mr. Keaton inspired me to look at things differently and to not be afraid to try something out of the ordinary,” said Rogers Explorers graduate Charlsey Garmon, 14, of Cumberland County. “Rogers Explorers has taught me to see the world in different ways and to realize anything can be used for a greater purpose.”

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Thirty students from 12 Southern and Eastern Kentucky counties completed and graduated from the second class of the Rogers Explorers program on Friday, June 10, on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College.

“The Rogers Explorers experience has expanded my knowledge in math, science and technology,” said Jaden Mullins, 14, of Clinton County. “The skills I’ve learned will allow me to take advantage of the world around me long after high school and college.”

“My experience as a Rogers Explorer is something I will never forget,” added Josie  Pruitt, 14, of Green County. “This program has made me love myself. It has made me realize that, ‘I am me, and nobody else can be me, but me.’”

The Rogers Explorers program is presented by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Lindsey Wilson CollegeAsbury University. University of the Cumberlands, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, and University of Pikeville.

Second Class of 2016 Rogers Explorers at Lindsey Wilson College

Jenna McGaha: Adair County
Makencie Woods, Dawson “Zane” Rousey, and Abigail Parton: Casey County
Bailey Smith: Clay County
Jaden Mullins and Rachel Sawyers: Clinton County
Charlsey Garmon, Elijah Hall, Cameron Patterson, and Lauren Riley: Cumberland County
Ruthie Eastham and Josie Pruitt: Green County
Laura Hamlin: McCreary County
Braxton Davis and Cody Hart: Metcalfe County
Lydia Emberton and Gracie Taylor: Monroe County
Madison Barron, Jacob Grabeel, Devan Neely, Sebastian Tingle, Cale Todd, Jenna Wood, and Jon Wood: Pulaski County
Lauryn Agathen, Aleah Knifley, and Baylie Skaggs: Taylor County
Rachel Rains and Nicole Hesse: Wayne County