Rogers Scholars

Shelby Phillips and Gabe Crockett from Clay County High School have graduated from The Center for Rural Development’s 2017 Class of Rogers Scholars. Rogers Scholars is an intensive one-week summer leadership program that provides valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities for high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky to seize their full potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.


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“The Rogers Scholars program is truly an experience of a lifetime,” Phillips said. “We got to see the latest advancements in the medical field.”

“I learned valuable entrepreneurial and leadership skills,” Crockett added. “My fondest memories, however, are the lifelong friends that I made at Rogers Scholars and the fun we had together.”

Crockett was presented the 2017 Doug Reece Memorial Award for having the highest scoring application in his graduating class. He will receive a $250 college scholarship to any in-state college or university.

Sixty-two high school students from 45 Kentucky counties graduated this summer from the 2017 Class of Rogers Scholars. The program was held on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College in South Central Kentucky in Adair County.

“We have had another incredible summer for the Rogers Scholars program,” said Laura Glover, Managing Director of Operations at The Center. “We’ve had students from all over Southern and Eastern Kentucky gather together to learn and grow with the program. This is an extremely intelligent and dedicated group of young individuals. We look forward to seeing what is in store for them in the future.”

Phillips is the daughter of James and Leslie Phillips of Manchester. Crockett is the son of Bill and Jennifer Crockett of Manchester.

Since the program began, 1,182 high school students have graduated from Rogers Scholars, and potential scholarships valued at more than $7.2 million have been offered to graduates from 17 participating colleges and universities.

For more information about the Rogers Scholars program, call 606-677-6000 or visit www.centeryouthprograms.com.

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.

Delaney Stephens, left, former youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center for Rural Development, and Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, present 2017 Rogers Scholars graduate Shelby Phillips of Clay County with a certificate for completing the program. Phillips, 16, is a student at Clay County High School.

Delaney Stephens, left, former youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center for Rural Development, and Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, present 2017 Doug Reece Memorial Award recipient and Rogers Scholars graduate Gabriel “Gabe” Crockett of Clay County with a handcrafted mountain dulcimer. Crockett, a student at Clay County High School, received the award for having the highest scoring application in his graduation class and will receive a $250 college scholarship to any in-state college or university.