Local students graduate from 2017 Rogers Explorers program

Harlan County students Kiki Dean, Story Miller and Trinity Vance graduated from The Center for Rural Development’s 2017 Rogers Explorers youth leadership program.

The Rogers Explorers program is an educational leadership program that provides hands-on learning opportunities for middle school students in southern and eastern Kentucky to build their math, science and technology skills. Graduates are encouraged to work toward pursuing careers in these in-demand career fields.

“Rogers Explorers has changed my life by giving me the opportunity to make new friends outside my county,” Dean said. “This program helped me to realize that I would like to pursue a career in science.”

Two hundred and twelve students — the largest class ever — attended this year’s Rogers Explorers program. Participants apply when they are in the eighth grade and attend during the summer before the start of their freshman year.

“This year’s class of Rogers Explorers showed that there are many bright, young leaders in our region of southern and eastern Kentucky,” said Laura Glover, managing director of operations at The Center. “By participating in this program, Explorers had the opportunity to experience first-hand how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can positively impact our region while also getting a feel for what college life was like.”

The Rogers Explorers program is presented by The Center in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, University of the Cumberlands, Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, University of Pikeville and the newest host site, Union College.

Dean is the daughter of Jeff and Samantha Dean, of Evarts. Miller is the son of Will and Stacey Miller, of Harlan. Vance is the daughter of David Vance and Laura Vance, of Harlan.

For more information about Rogers Explorers, call 606-677-6000 or email youth@centertech.com. Visit www.centeryouthprograms.com to learn more about youth programs at The Center.

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in southern and eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.