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University of the Cumberlands 2012 Rogers Explorers
Thirty students—all rising ninth-graders from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky—put their math, science, and technology skills to work this summer on the campus of the University of the Cumberlands (UC).

These students graduated from the second class of The Center for Rural Development’s 2012 Rogers Explorers summer youth leadership program  June 8 after spending three days and two nights on UC’s campus in Williamsburg.

During the program, Rogers Explorers work with leading experts to build their skills in math, science, and technology, and develop their leadership skills all while experiencing life on a college campus.

“This program has helped me to better understand what college life is all about and what will be expected of me in the future.  After completing the experiments in a real college lab, it has sparked my interest in biologoy and genetics.”
2012 Rogers Explorer graduate Aliyah Omar of Middlesboro

Cassidy Dalton, 14, a student at Northern Middle School in Pulaski County, said Rogers Explorers helped her to learn the value of becoming an effective leader.

“After attending this program, I have a new attitude towards leadership for me and my peers,” she said. “I know that all of us will come out with a new strive to rise and become better leaders, not just for us, or our community, but our entire generation.”

Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, and Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison, presented each of the graduates with a certificate recognizing their completion of the program on the final day of the session.

“Through Rogers Explorers, we are helping students develop the skills they needs to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders,” Lawson said. “The program provides unique learning experiences for students to start thinking seriously about their future careers and move toward meeting their goals.”

The following Rogers Explorers graduated from the UC session:

  • Katlyn Barnwell, Victoria Lowrance, and Aliyah Omar—Bell County
  • Marisa Boyd—Breathitt County
  • Caleb Combs and Cierra Crowe—Jackson County
  • Andalyn Jae Brock, William Matthew Dixon, Reagan Warren, Sadie Harris, Brayden Imel, Kristen Pedersen, and Lauren Pedersen—Knox County
  • Elijah Butler, Taylor Crockett, Jonah Deaton, Will House, and Jorden Jones—Laurel County
  • Lyndsey Pennington and Kaitlyn Wilson—McCreary County
  • Derek Burgett, Andy Buteyn, Cassidy Dalton, Kyle Back, Samantha Dick, and Jensen Pierce —Pulaski County
  • James Ballinger and Bradley Taylor—Rockcastle County
  • Dillan Penney—Wayne County
  • Christopher Newquist—Whitley County

 Click here to view photographs of the 2012 Rogers Explorers graduation program at the University of the Cumberlands and other activities Explorers participated in during their visit on the Williamsburg campus.