Center for Rural Development Program Allows Students to ‘Explore’ College Life
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 [9:22 PM]
|A total of 29 students from the
region participated in the Rogers Explorers program, held Jun 10-12
at Lindsey Wilson.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A lot of rising ninth-grade
students may be tempted to take it easy after they graduate from
the eighth grade. But less than a month after 29 area students
graduated from the eighth grade, they spent three days this week at
Lindsey Wilson College learning about biology, communication,
energy and leadership.
The 29 students were part of the Rogers Explorers
program, which was held June 10-12 at Lindsey Wilson. Sponsored
by the Center for Rural
Development in Somerset, Ky., in conjunction with Lindsey
Wilson, the Rogers Explorers is an intensive three-day, two-program
that exposes rising ninth-grade students to courses in
communication, mathematics and science.
Two Rogers Explorers programs were held this summer -- one at
Lindsey Wilson, the other at the University of the
Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. A total of 59 students from
the Center for Rural Development's 42-county service area
participated in the program at the two colleges. The Rogers
Explorers program is one of three summer programs the Center offers
to youth in its service area.
"One of the biggest benefits of this program is that it gets
students to think about postsecondary education even before they
have entered secondary education," said Jessica D. Melton, Center
for Rural Development assistant director of education and training.
"Being on a college campus, being in a college classroom and being
with college professors all have a positive influence on them. …
It's different than going to a basketball campus - they are
experiencing the academic elements of a college campus."
During the day, the 29 Rogers Scholars at Lindsey Wilson were
taught by the college's faculty in subjects that included genetics,
physics and communication skills. When not in class, they enjoyed
several social events, and they also participated in
community-service projects in Adair and Russell counties.
"It's very important to have a community-service component in
the program because we want the students to understand the
importance of serving others and helping their communities through
service," Melton said.
One of the activities the Rogers Explorers especially
enjoyed was a videoconference meeting with officials at NASA's
Kennedy Space Center. That activity impressed Alison Feese of
Columbia, who will be an Adair County High School freshman this
fall. Like many of the Rogers Explorers, Feese was surprised to
learn that NASA had job opportunities for just about every
"It was really interesting to see all the stuff they do," Feese
said. The videoconference meeting with NASA "gives them that
dream-big potential," Melton said.
At Friday evening's closing ceremony, held in the Norma and Glen
Hodge Center for Discipleship, Center for Rural Development
President and CEO Lonnie Lawson told the students and their family
members that the three days spent at Lindsey Wilson were but a
beginning in their education journey.
"You must take an active role in your education" Lawson said.
"Only you can really get to where you need to be in education."
Lawson also praised the Rogers Explorers for combining academic
pursuits with community-service activities.
"This is really what the heart of the mission for the Center for
Rural Development is all about - it's about improving the quality
of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky," he said. "And we can
only do that if we keep our best and brightest here at home,
educate them here at home, get them involved in community
decisions, get them involved in community service."
And if the evaluation of Noah Richards of Columbia is any
indication, the Rogers Explorers program held at Lindsey Wilson was
a tremendous success.
"My three days here have been the best three days I've had my
whole life," said Richards, who will be a freshman this fall at
Adair County High School. "I can't wait to go home and use the
skills we have learned."
Check out some of the highlights from the Rogers