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Rogers Scholars at Team Leadership Center in Wayne County

Members of the second class of the 2012 Rogers Scholars—and the final graduating class of the year—arrived at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset this week and spent Monday working on their leadership skills at the Team Leadership Center in Monticello.

Lead facilitator Norrie Wake and his center staff led Rogers Scholars through a series of leadership and teambuilding exercises to help these high school students receive the leadership skills needed to step up as the region’s next generation of leaders.

“We had to learn to work together as a team,” said Rogers Scholar Caleb Wigginton of Taylor County. “A lot of times a good leader has to become a good follower before he or she can lead other people down the right path.”

Many of the activities, while challenging and fun, teach Rogers Scholars the value of good listening skills, ability to communicate effectively with others, and successful leadership traits.

“I really had to put a lot of trust into people I barely knew, and I had to put a lot of trust in myself to do things I never thought I could do,” said Rogers Scholar Blake Morris of Pulaski County.

Morris was among the group of Rogers Scholars to make the successful climb to the top of a 55-foot Alpine Tower—one of most strenuous activity of the day’s events.

Rogers Scholars are encouraged to climb to their most comfort level on the tower, and many, like Morris, make it to the top platform.

Rogers Scholar Shelby Harville of Pulaski County said she made “it most of the way” to the top of the Alpine Tower, but the support and encouragement she received from Scholars really helped her to overcome her fear of heights.

“I have had so much fun meeting new people,” said Rogers Scholar Ashley Johnson of Pulaski County. “I think the biggest challenge personally for me was stepping out of my comfort zone and being willing to talk to new people.”

Rogers Scholars will be at The Center through Friday and will conclude that night with an awards ceremony and graduation program in the theatre for families and friends.

Click here to view other photos from the Team Leadership Center.

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