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