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Some 242 students experience college life thanks to Forward in the Fifth

By September 30, 2010No Comments

Motivational speaker Hasan Davis encourages high school students to be positive role models at Forward in the Fifth's Student Leadership Conference in Morehead.

High school students may think about what it will be like to attend college, but few actually get to experience college life first-hand until they arrive on campus as incoming freshmen.


Approximately 242 high school students from eight South Central and Eastern Kentucky counties had a unique opportunity to learn more about college—and plan for their future—in

September at two of the three Student Leadership Conferences planned this fall by Forward in the Fifth and The Center for Rural Development.

High school juniors, and a few sophomores, got a taste of what college life is all about and what they need to do to prepare for the transition from high school to college at these conference sessions held on the campuses of Campbellsville University and Morehead State University.

“This experience changed my perspective on college,” Danielle Foster, a student at Adair County High School, said on a tour of Campbellsville University. “I learned a lot about how to set goals and achieve more of my goals. It made me want to push forward and strive harder.”

“Upon hearing all of the speakers, I am going to make a difference in my life by being a better role model,” Tristen Moore, a student at Fleming County High School, said after attending the session at Morehead State University. “Even though I do not consider myself a role model, I am going to make a change in the way I present myself so others can see and look up to me each and every day.”

Campbellsville University's Jon Hansford teaches a simulated college class.

At both Campbellsville University and Morehead State University, high school students attended a simulated college classroom or break-out sessions where they were able to experience life as a college freshman.

“These Student Leadership Conferences are all about planting a seed and making a personal commitment to furthering one’s education following high school,” Jim Tackett, executive director of Forward in the Fifth, said. “Whether obtaining a two-year, four-year, certificate, or advanced degree, resources and supports are available.

“Hopefully, the conferences will dispel some myths and pique interest to continue the participants’ quest for life-long learning,” he added.

The quest to promote youth leadership opportunities across The Center’s 42-county primary service area in Southern and Eastern Kentucky is part of its overall mission, and these Student Leadership Conferences are a perfect example of cooperative partnerships at work to change the lives of the region’s high school students, Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said.

“We want to stimulate young people’s minds by encouraging and supporting them to pursue postsecondary education,” he said. “By doing so, we will unleash new individual possibilities and exciting opportunities by equipping our region to become a powerful economic engine in the future.”

High school students tour Campbellsville University

The Student Leadership Conferences are part of a partnership by Forward in the Fifth and The Center in cooperation with Campbellsville University, Morehead State University, and Eastern Kentucky University to give nearly 500 students from 12 counties across Southern and Eastern Kentucky a chance to taste life on a college campus and see their lives from a new and exciting perspective.

High school students from Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, and Adair counties attended the Student Leadership Conference on Sept. 28 at Campbellsville University and students from Bath, Fleming, Menifee, and Rowan counties attended the session on Sept. 30 at Morehead State University.

The conference at Morehead State University also was sponsored by the university’s Talent Search, GEAR UP KY, The Center for Regional Engagement, and Adult Education and College Access.

“The Center for Rural Development, Forward in the Fifth, Campbellsville University, Morehead State University, and our local communities recognize the talents and abilities in every one of these high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” Tackett said. “We all are partners in committing our efforts to advance education and its value. Through this effort, we will positively impact the quality of life for individuals and collectively for the region for generations to come.”

For more information on upcoming Student Leadership Conferences, contact Jim Tackett at 606-677-6000 or e-mail.

Forward in the Fifth, an affiliate of The Center, strives to engage community stakeholders to advance the value of education; serves as advocates to advance all education systems to improve educational attainment; and supports schools and stakeholders to secure needed resources to improve the quality of education within their local communities.

The Center, located in Somerset, is a non-profit organization created through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) as a state and national model for economic, technological, and social solutions.