The Center for Rural Development is issuing a call to eighth-grade middle school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to apply for the 2023 Rogers Explorers Program.

Rogers Explorers is an intensive three-day, two-night program held on a leading Kentucky college campus for middle school students who are interested in developing their skills in leadership, team building, community service and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields of study.

Students attend Rogers Explorers after they graduate middle school the summer before they start their freshman year in high school.

Rogers Explorers is developed, coordinated and supervised by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, University of the Cumberlands and Union College.

“Our goal is to inspire students to look at different career pathways, especially in the STEM fields, and to plan for the future,” said Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “Rogers Explorers gives students that and more allowing them to experience what it is like to live and attend classes on a college campus.”

To apply, students must meet certain criteria including: be a current eighth-grader; live in a county located in The Center’s 45-county primary service area; have a strong interest in developing skills in leadership, technology, math, science and community service; and have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 (on a four-point scale). To fill out an application for the 2023 Rogers Explorers Program, visit The deadline to apply is Feb. 28. There is no cost for students or their families to attend Rogers Explorers.

In order to be eligible for Rogers Explorers, students must live in one of the following Kentucky counties within The Center for Rural Development’s primary service area: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Elliott, Estill, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Harlan, Jackson, Jessamine, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Taylor, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

For more information about Rogers Explorers or questions about the application process, contact Amy Ellis at,, or call, (606) 677-6000.

Recommended for you