The Center for Rural Development selects Clay County Middle School students to attend 2024 Rogers Explorers

June 10, 2024

The Center for Rural Development has selected Clay County Middle School students Lilly Smith and Brynn Blevins to participate in the 2024 Rogers Explorers Program.

Lilly and Brynn, eighth-grade students, have been chosen as Rogers Explorers and invited to attend this summer’s program.

“The Rogers Explorers Program encourages middle school students to develop their leadership skills and explore new adventures while spending time on a leading Kentucky college campus,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “We’re excited to welcome our 2024 Class of Rogers Explorers and for them to start their journey.”

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.

This summer, approximately 184 Explorers will be spending three days and two nights on one of six partner Kentucky colleges or universities. While on campus, they will learn valuable leardership skills, complete a community service project, and partipate in hands-on learning.

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

Lilly is the daughter of Dwayne and Katie Smith of Manchester. Brynn is the daughter of Nick and Edwina Blevins of Manchester.

For more information about Rogers Explorers, please contact Amber Decker ( or Amy Ellis ( , or call 606-677-6000.