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Area Students Go Exploring


Rogers Explorers learn about wooly worms and predators in a biology session led by Dr. Renee Yetter, professor of biology at the University.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.- University of the Cumberlands hosted the second annual Rogers Explorers Program June 6-8. Eighth grade students from Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Wayne and Whitley counties participated in the three-day program sponsored by The Center For Rural Development.

The purpose of the program is to encourage student interest in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship and community service. Throughout the session participants examine their own leadership qualities, listen to lectures given by college professors in a major of their choice and interact with a diverse group of students.


As part of the Rogers Explorers experience, there is a segment that focuses on community service. Here, the explorers assist the Mountain Outreach volunteers in the landscaping of their facilities. The University’s Mountain Outreach program will complete three homes this summer for local needy families.

After its debut last summer, the program received positive feedback and has grown as a result. Jessica Melton, the youth projects coordinator for the Center for Rural Development, said, “The number of applicants went up quite a bit. We decided to include 10 counties this year instead of just the six original counties.”

Brad Penley, a participant from Northern Middle School in Pulaski County, applied to the program hoping to learn more about scholarship opportunities. “I wanted to see what college is about and learn ways to get scholarships. I have learned a lot about the admissions process from this program,” he said.

Whether students enjoyed the classroom lectures, leadership activities or social interaction, they saw the program’s importance. Rossi Clark of North Laurel Middle School said, “This program is important because it gives kids opportunity to figure out who they are and what they can do for the future.”

The Rogers Explorers program is open to upcoming ninth graders from Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Wayne and Whitley counties. Applications for next year’s program will be available in November at

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky is a private liberal arts college in its 118th 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.