¬¬¬¬¬¬Clay County’s James Williams has graduated from this summer’s first class of The Center for Rural Development’s 2011 Rogers Scholars youth leadership program.
The Rogers Scholars program—The Center’s flagship youth program—provides leadership and scholarship opportunities for rising high school juniors from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky and encourages graduates to build their careers in the region.
“Rogers Scholars showed me the characteristics of being a leader and how to improve on those attributes,” Williams, 16, a student at Clay County High School, said.
The first summer session of Rogers Scholars was held June 26-July 1 on the grounds of The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.
Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, and Lauren Hayes, youth programs coordinator, presented certificates of recognition to the 36 graduates on the final day of the week-long program acknowledging their accomplishments during an awards ceremony and graduation program.
“The Rogers Scholars program, one of our Leadership Focus Area programs, is changing the lives of high school students all across Southern and Eastern Kentucky,” Lawson said. “Rogers Scholars graduates are our future leaders and entrepreneurs and hope for a brighter tomorrow.”
Students apply during their sophomore year and attend the Rogers Scholars program before the start of their junior year in high school.
The one-week summer program gives students a chance to grow their leadership and entrepreneurial skills, learn from professional business leaders, and explore their interests in one of Rogers Scholars’ three majors: engineering, video production, and healthcare.
Graduates of the program also earn access to exclusive college scholarship offers from some of the state’s top-ranked colleges and universities.
“I am so blessed and honored to share the Rogers Scholars experience with such amazing representatives from our 42-county primary service area,” Hayes said. “I saw how much potential these students have, and it is such an encouragement to watch them grow and develop into mature adults, but still be kids at heart.”
Williams is the son of James “Mike” and Doris Williams of Manchester.
Since 1998, approximately 770 high school students have graduated from Rogers Scholars, and potential scholarships valued at more than $7.2 million have been offered to graduates from 15 participating partner colleges and universities. The University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University are the latest institutions to join that list.
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