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Two Adair County Students Selected for Rural Development’s Youth Programs

The Center for Rural Development honors two Adair County students for being selected for its annual youth programs, Rogers Scholars and Rogers Explorers. 

“We hope our communities will join us in congratulating the students on their selection for these highly competitive programs,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development.

Morgan Spoon, a sophomore at Adair County High School, was selected for the Rogers Scholars program. She is the daughter of Robin and Brandon Lewis and Mark Spoon of Columbia.

Adair County Middle School student Chloe Richards was selected for the Rogers Explorers program. She is the daughter of Donald and Denise Richards of Columbia.

Due to the nature of the COVID 19 pandemic, The Center has had to make the difficult decision to forgo plans to host all of its summer camps during the summer of 2020.

“The Center’s youth programs are near and dear to my heart,” Lawson said. “This was not an easy decision to make and we did not make it lightly. Due to the State of Emergency restrictions and the severe nature of this crisis, we feel it is in the best interest of all of our staff, the students, and their families, that we do not take any risks. The health and wellbeing of our students has always been a top priority when we conduct our summer programs. We had optimistically hoped that we could find a way to proceed normally, but we do not feel that is possible. We recognize all of the hard work and dedication our students put into their applications for these programs and we hope they continue working towards their goals for a successful future.”

Rogers Scholars is a youth leadership program targeted towards rising high school juniors throughout The Center’s 45-county service area. Students spend a week on one of two college campuses — Lindsey Wilson College and Morehead State University. They are introduced to topics such as leadership, community service, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, technology and more. There were 62 students selected for this year’s program.

Rogers Explorers is a youth leadership camp targeted towards rising high school freshmen. Students spend three days on one of seven college campuses through Kentucky including Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Union College, University of the Cumberlands, and University of Pikeville. Students focus on topics of leadership, community service, and STEM career pathways such as chemistry, biology, health sciences, engineering, space science, agriculture sciences, and more. There were 210 students selected for this year’s program.

Since 1998, more than 3,000 middle and high school students from Southern and Eastern Kentucky have graduated from The Center’s Youth Programs. Rogers Explorers and Rogers Scholars are provided at no cost to students.

For more information about The Center’s Youth Programs, contact Amy Ellis, Executive Assistant at The Center, at or call 606-677-6020.

Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, and arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.

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