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Start applying for Rogers Explorers Program

Youth Program for Center of Rural Development flyer

What is Rogers Explorers?

The Rogers Explorers program is an intensive three-day, two-night program focused on cultivating skills in leadership, technology, math, science, and community service.  It is developed, coordinated, and supervised by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with University of the Cumberlands, Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, University of Pikeville, and The Center’s newest partner, Union College. Activities throughout the program are both educational and fun.  Classroom projects are very hands-on, so do not expect to be bored!  Explorers are able to actively participate in practical college courses, fine-tune leadership skills, and develop a network of friends and resources throughout our Southern and Eastern Kentucky region. Students from The Center’s 45-county service area may apply during their eighth-grade year.  If selected, they will attend the program in Williamsburg, Columbia, Richmond, Morehead, Wilmore, Pikeville, or Barbourville during the summer before their ninth-grade year.  All lodging, meals, and program expenses (with the exception of transportation to and from the program) are offered at no cost.

Apply for Rogers Explorers

Welcome to the 2021 Rogers Explorers application page. Before you get started, take a moment and look through the content on this page. First, read the sections on eligibility and the selection process to get a better understanding of how the process works.

Once you’ve read through those items, go over the information in the application kit which includes an application checklist. This year we have moved the application to Google Classroom. Students can work on their application from December 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The application is broken down into individual assignments and students can work on the application over time at their own pace. For application questions, contact Allison Cross at or call 606-677-6000.


To be eligible to apply, the student must:

  • Be a current 8th grader.
  • Live in a county located within The Center’s 45-county service area. The forty-five county service area consists of the following Kentucky counties: 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.
  • Have a strong interest in developing skills in leadership, technology, math, science, and community service.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4-point scale).? If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may submit a letter from your guidance counselor explaining any special circumstances that may have affected your GPA and/or why you should be considered for the Rogers Explorers program regardless of your GPA.

Selection Process:

A selection committee consisting of staff from The Center for Rural Development will be established.? In order to ensure fairness, applications will be blinded and applicant names removed prior to distributing copies to the selection committee. The committee will review and score all of the applications according to the criteria and point values established for each section. The top two applicants with the highest scores in each county will be selected as that county’s representatives. After those 90 selections are made, remaining students will be selected to fill any open spots.  As a result, some counties will have more than two representatives.

All applicants remaining after the initial selection will be considered as alternates and will be ranked from the highest to lowest score. If a selected Explorer is unable to attend the program, alternates will be contacted in order of their rank until the open spot is filled. For this reason, all applicants are encouraged to keep the program dates and the possibility of selection in mind as they make their plans for the summer.

Application Kit:

  • Application Checklist
  • Missing Worksheets? – If you are using a school-related email and cannot view files in your assignments, you are experiencing a security issue that is connected to your school system. You will need to use a personal email to connect to our Google Classroom. 

Getting Connected to Google Classroom:

The first step in the application process is getting connected to Google Classroom. All Google Classroom codes will be listed here. Please copy your code before going to Google Classroom.


Google Classroom Code:?


Important Note: If you have trouble joining the classroom from a school email account, it  may be a security issue. You will have to use a non-school related email address.

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