Thirty-two high school students from 26 Kentucky counties graduate from the second class of Rogers Scholars

Rogers Scholars is all about helping young people “be the best they can be” and seize their potential as the region’s new generation of community and business leaders.

Sixteen-year-old Lauren Williams of Adair County may not know her career choice right now, but she discovered a world of possibilities as a Rogers Scholar.

“The energy solutions major has brought me closer to finding my career goal,” said Williams, a student at Taylor County High School. “Although I’m still unsure of what exactly I want to do for a career, I know that environmental awareness and sustainability will be a big part of my future.”

Thirty-two high school students from 26 Kentucky counties graduated from the second class of The Center for Rural Development’s 2016 Rogers Scholars youth leadership program.

The program is open to rising high school juniors within The Center’s primary service area in Southern and Eastern Kentucky and provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for some of the “best and brightest students” in the region.

“The Rogers Scholars program has been an awesome experience,” said Rogers Scholars graduate Caroline Rushing, a student a Monroe High School. “It has shown me the impact that our generation is making on our communities and that we are making a difference.”

During the program, Rogers Scholars work with professional leaders in their respective fields to explore different career options in healthcare, engineering, and the newest major, energy solutions.

In the healthcare career pathway, Lee County’s DeAnna Deaton discovered there are “many different ways that I can lead the way in healthcare.”

Deaton, 16, a student at Lee County High School, was presented the Doug Reece Memorial Award for having the highest scoring application among the graduates in the second class of Rogers Scholars.

Rogers Scholars graduates Lauren McQuaide of Adair County and Harley Byrd of Casey County were selected by members of their graduating class to represent them as Rogers Scholars Ambassadors.

“The Rogers Scholars program has shown me that no matter your background you are a leader, if only you put your mind to it,” said McQuaide, 16, a student at Adair County High School. “Never be afraid to fail.”

The Rogers Scholars program was held on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in Adair County and culminated with a graduation program on July 15 at The Center in Somerset.

Each graduate was presented certificates of completion by Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, and Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center.

2016 Rogers Scholars graduates: Week 2

  • Lauren McQuaide and Lauren Williams: Adair County
  • Cameron Vincent: Bath County
  • Sarah Combs: Bell County
  • Anna Pena: Carter County
  • Harley Byrd: Casey County
  • Bailey Hubbard: Clay County
  • Vivian Zheng: Clinton County
  • Kaylee-Dee Long: Cumberland County
  • Haylee Goodpaster: Elliott County
  • Will Burkhart: Estill County
  • Rebekah Lake: Garrard County
  • Callie Chaney: Knott County
  • Emily Bolinger and Andrew Jones:  Knox County
  • Thomas Callahan: Laurel County
  • DeAnna Deaton: Lee County
  • Kennedy Howard: Leslie County
  • Jessica Cox: McCreary County
  • Kennedy Bates: Metcalfe County
  • Caroline Rushing: Monroe County
  • Hannah Ertel: Owsley County
  • Allie Hagy: Pike County
  • Elisabeth Barnett, Ann Lauren Jacobs, Clayton Dalton, Micah Woolridge, and Greer Rutt: Pulaski County
  • Trevor Hitch: Rowan County
  • Shelby Robertson: Russell County
  • Samuel Kessler: Taylor County
  • Hunter Davis: Wayne County