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Area Students Explore Leadership Abilities


Students climb the rock wall, which as Melton said, challenged students ability to "think outside the box."

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.- University of the Cumberlands hosted the first annual Rogers Explorers program, June 7-9. Twenty-four eighth grade students from Bell, Knox, Laurel, McCreary and Whitley counties participated in the program sponsored by The Center for Rural Development.

The three day session is designed for students interested in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship and community service activities. Participants are given the opportunity to fine tune their leadership skills, participate in college courses as well as develop friendships with other students in the southern and eastern regions of Kentucky.


Stacie Lawless was a participant in the three day program.

Justin McClury, of South Laurel Middle School, shared his favorite activity of the program. "I enjoyed the leadership program where we were in groups and determined what kind of leader we are, like if we are promoters or followers," he said.

Jessica Melton, the Youth Projects Coordinator for The Center for Rural Development, commented that the series of activities encourages important leadership qualities. "The students were given the opportunity to think outside of the box when presented with a new situation as well as encourage one another as they took turns with a task," said Melton.

The importance of the program did not go unnoticed by those who participated. Stacie Lawless, a homeschooled student of Whitley County said, "It helps kids to learn how to stand up and take the lead in their communities."

The Rogers Explorers program is an extension of the Rogers Scholar program that is made available to high school juniors. Lawless expressed an interest in applying for this program in the future. "My sister Stephanie is in that program this summer," she said. "It is something I would also like to be involved in when I am in high school."

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 117th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, nontraditional programs for adults.