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The Center for Rural Development is issuing a call for applications for the 2021 Rogers Scholars program.

Rogers Scholars — The Center’s flagship youth program — is open to high school rising juniors in Southern and Eastern Kentucky seeking to build their skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, technology, and community service. The program provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for young people to fulfill their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders. Students apply during their sophomore year.

“It is now more vital than ever for The Center to provide leadership and scholarship opportunities to our region’s youth,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “Through the Rogers Scholars program experience, students are able to gain confidence in order to become the leaders we need.”

The Center for Rural Development partners with 18 universities in Kentucky and one university in Tennessee to provide scholarship opportunities to the students who get accepted into the program.

“Because of Rogers Scholars, I was able to attend Lindsey Wilson College (LWC) with a full-tuition scholarship,” said Kennedy Bates, 2016 Rogers Scholar and current junior and education major at LWC. “If it weren’t for that, I definitely wouldn’t be here right now. My life would look completely different if it weren’t for Rogers Scholars.”

Rogers Scholars is a week-long program held on the campuses of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY and Morehead State University in Morehead, KY.

This past summer, The Center was not able to host any of its youth programs in person. However, The Center provided many opportunities virtually throughout the summer. It’s The Center’s goal to host an in-person program in 2021. Dates for the program are tentatively scheduled for June 6-11, 2021 at Lindsey Wilson College and July 18-23, 2021 at Morehead State University.

The Rogers Scholars application is now available online. Students will apply through the Google Classroom platform. The application classroom code is now live at Students go to The Center’s youth programs website to get the classroom code and they use it to connect to the application via Google Classroom.

“Most of the students in our service area are already using Google Classroom,” said Allison Cross, Community Liaison and Youth Programs Coordinator at The Center. “It is our goal to be as accessible as possible to our students. Moving to Google Classroom will allow them to use a familiar platform and work at their own pace.”

The deadline to apply for Rogers Scholars is midnight on January 31, 2021. If you have specific questions about the application process or want to know more about The Center’s youth leadership programs, contact Allison Cross at or call The Center at 606-677-6000.

The Center for Rural Development serves 45 counties in Southern and Eastern Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Boyd, Carter, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe.