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Eight Magoffin students selected for The Center for Rural Development’s youth programs

The Center for Rural Development has selected eight Magoffin County students to particiapte in its summer leadership programs.


Rogers Scholars


Two Magoffin County sophomores will join high school students from across Southern and Eastern Kentucky this summer for the 25th annual Rogers Scholars youth leadership program. Bella Dunn is the daughter of Jerry and Casey Dunn, of Salyersville. Coltin Vallandingham is the grandson of Bonnie Dyer, of Salyersville.


Rogers Scholars, The Center’s flagship youth program, was established through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) that “no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future.”


The intensive one-week summer program provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for high school students in 45 Kentucky counties to build their skills as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.


“The Center’s Youth Programs are unique opportunities for our young leaders to explore what’s next for them in education and through service to their communities,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “The programs give them the tools they need in order to thrive in their personal goals and how to make an impact in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.”



Each graduate of the Rogers Scholars Program earns potential access to exclusive scholarship opportunities from some of the state’s top-ranked colleges and universities. To be eligible, students must complete a community service project in their hometown.


The 2022 Rogers Scholars Program will take place on June 5-10 on the campus of Morehead State University and July 24-29 on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College. There is no tuition charge to attend the program and lodging and food is provided at no cost to participants.


Rogers Explorers


Five 8th graders from Hearld Whitaker Middle School were selected for the 17th annual Rogers Explorers Program – Cathryn Allen, Gavin Ryan Arnett, Gavin Ross Arnett, Erin Rudd, and Troy Salyer.


Allen is the daughter of JR and Becky Allen, of Salyersville. Gavin Ryan Arnett is the son of Jeffery and Minerva Arnett, of Salyersville. Gavin Ross Arnett is the son of Scott and Tina Arnett, Rudd is the daughter of Katrina and Steve Rudd, of Royalton. Salyer is the son of Amanda Whitaker and Jerome Salyer, of Salyersville.


Rogers Explorers is open to eighth-grade students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky who have a strong interest in developing their skills in leadership, team building, community service, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields of study.


Explorers is a three-day and two-night program on a leading Kentucky college campus where experts will guide them through hands-on assignments. The program is provided at no cost to eligible students within The Center’s 45-county primary service area.


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


Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute

Brayleigh Darnell, a sophomore at Magoffin County High School, was selected for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute. She is the daughter of Bethanie and Bradley Darnell, of Salyersville.


ELI is a weeklong summer leadership camp for student entrepreneurs. ELI provides high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky with an in-depth look at what it takes to start their own business venture — from idea development to building a model prototype of their business concept.


The Center for Rural Development partners with Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and Eastern Kentucky University to develop the program. During the camp, ELI business teams will compete in the Business Concept Challenge competition. Members of the winning team will earn a scholarship from EKU.


For more information about The Center’s youth programs, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at The Center, at or call 606-677-6000.


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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