Meece Middle School is pleased to announce that 10 of its students have been invited to attend a prestigious academic program at one of four college campuses this summer.
Kyle Back, Brynlee Bigelow, Andy Buteyn, Lillie Eastham, Aubrey Kelley, Jordan LaFavers, Lauren Maynard, Jensen Pierce, Brian Rutherford, and John Wilson were selected from 187 applicants from a 42-county area who competed to participate in the Rogers Explorers program. Eighth-grade students who have a strong interest in developing skills in leadership, technology, math, science, entrepreneurship, and community service, and who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale were eligible to apply.
The Rogers Explorers Program is an intensive, three-day, two-night program. It is developed, coordinated, and supervised by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with the University of the Cumberlands, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, and Eastern Kentucky University. The students will live on one of these campuses while completing the program.
"Rogers Explorers was formed in 2006 as a means to reach more young people in The Center’s 42-county primary service area, and to focus on leading students into in-demand careers in our region," said Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center. "The Center has partnered with four Kentucky colleges and universities to host our Explorer camps on their campuses to give these students hands-on experience in a college environment. By doing so, we help them see the value of higher education and prepare them for success."
Students competed for this opportunity by completing a six-part application. It included listing extracurricular and community service activities, showing proof of strong academic performance, and submitting two letters of recommendation, one from an educator, and one from a member of the community who is not employed by a school system.
In addition, 50 percent of the points earned on the application came from an essay written by the student. The essay was scored based on content, creativity, spelling, grammar, insightfulness, and how well the essay addressed the program’s areas of focus. The essay portion challenged students to answer two questions:
“In your opinion, how can math and science skills contribute to the long-term sustainability of Southern and Eastern Kentucky?”
“Why is this so important to your home county?”
The students from Meece who will participate in the Rogers Explorers program had several things to say about being selected:
Aubrey Kelley: “It is truly an honor to have been selected. I look forward to attending Eastern Kentucky University with two of my friends.”
Kyle Back: “I feel blessed to have such an honor. I thank God for everything that has happened to me.”
Jordan LaFavers: “I feel it’s a great honor to be able to attend Morehead State University, and I’m grateful that God has given me so many talents to use.”
Lauren Maynard: “I feel extremely blessed to be accepted into such a prestigious program, and to get to share the experience with some of my best friends.”
Jensen Pierce: “It is such a blessing to be chosen to attend the University of the Cumberlands. God has blessed me and my family has supported me in everything I’ve been through in life.”
Brynlee Bigelow: “When I received the letter, I was so excited. I read that I will be attending Morehead State University. It’s a great school, and I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Lillie Eastham: “I am so blessed to go to a school that encourages so many of its students to reach for the stars.”
Brian Rutherford: “It’s an honor that I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in this great program.”
Andy Buteyn: “It is an honor and a blessing to be accepted into this wonderful program. I know it will greatly affect the advancements in my life.”
"Rogers Explorers gives students a one-of-a-kind learning experience as we open their eyes to the vast potential in the plentiful careers in math and science," said Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center. "They will also develop a lifelong network of friends, and will build essential skills that will help them become the region's next generation of leaders."
David Miller, Meece Middle School’s assistant principal, said this about the 10 Meece students who were selected: “I am extremely proud of our students here at Meece Middle School. They have worked very hard all school year, and for ten of our students to be recognized and accepted into the Rogers Explorers program is an incredible accomplishment. I believe this is just the beginning of many wonderful opportunities for our students to express their academic and leadership skills to help make a positive and lasting difference in our communities.”