Students invited to apply for leadership institute

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The Center for Rural Development is looking for some of the best and brightest high school students across Southern and Eastern Kentucky to grow their leadership skills as Rogers Scholars and build their business and entrepreneurial skills while participating in Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute program.

Applications for the 2011 summer sessions of both Rogers Scholars and ELI will be accepted through Jan. 31 and may be downloaded from a link on The Center's Web site at www.centertech.com or directly from Rogers Scholars' website at www.rogersscholars.com.

Both programs provide leadership and scholarship opportunities for the region's youth and inspire them to make a difference in their home communities by taking an active role in community service or developing their business or entrepreneurial spirit.

Rogers Scholars - The Center's flagship youth program - is an intensive one-week summer session for rising high school juniors in The Center's primary 42-county service area. The program emphasizes the development of technological skills and instills in participants a sense of leadership, an entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to rural Kentucky.

"We are excited to welcome the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University to the Rogers Scholars program as our newest partners to provide scholarship opportunities for graduates of this program," Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. "Rogers Scholars was created in 1998 as an action step toward reaching U.S. Congressman Harold 'Hal' Rogers' goal that 'no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future,' and The Center strives to provide leadership and scholarship opportunities to keep more of our best and brightest students in the region."

During the last 13 years, 732 high school students have graduated from Rogers Scholars and been eligible to apply for scholarship opportunities, valued at $7.2 million, from 14 participating colleges and universities in Kentucky, and one university in Tennessee.

ELI focuses on creativity and teamwork and is helping to build business and entrepreneurial skills in high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors within The Center's primary service area.

During the one-week summer session, participants work together as teams to create a business plan and present their proposals before a panel of judges acting as prospective financial lenders in a business concept competition on the final day of the program.

Members of the first-place business concept team earn a Presidential Scholarship to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond and are recognized as the winning team at the Excellence In Entrepreneurship Awards program later that fall at The Center.

Both Rogers Scholars and ELI are presented and sponsored by The Center and held on its main campus in Somerset. Two summer sessions of Rogers Scholars are planned for June 26-July 1 and July 10-15 and ELI has been scheduled for June 12-17.

Lodging, meals, and program expenses, excluding transportation costs to and from the host site, are provided free to participating students.

For more information on Rogers Scholars or ELI, contact The Center at (606) 677-6000.

The application deadline for Rogers Explorers - The Center's third summer youth program - is March 4. This program provides hands-on training for eighth-grade students interested in developing their math and science skills while spending three days, two nights on a college campus.

Applications may be downloaded at www.centertech.com.