Taylor County student is 2008 Rogers Scholars graduate

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By The Staff

Allie Romines of Taylor County was one of 30 rising high school juniors from southern and eastern Kentucky to graduate from Rogers Scholars, a youth leadership program, in July.

Romines, a student at Taylor County High School, attended the second session of Rogers Scholars during the week of July 6-11 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. She graduated from the program on July 11 and will be eligible to apply for college scholarships from 13 participating colleges and universities.

Romines is the daughter of Robert and Pam Romines of Campbellsville.

Former Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton delivered the keynote address to the last class of 2008 Rogers Scholars at a graduation program on the final day of the summer session. Patton, who served as Democratic governor of Kentucky from 1995 to 2003, challenged graduates to set goals and dream big.

Rogers Scholars, The Center's flagship youth program, is an intensive one-week summer program that provides opportunities for some of the best and brightest students in the region to learn leadership and team-building skills. Sixty high school sophomores, or rising juniors, from The Center's 42-county service area were selected by the program sponsor to attend one of two summer sessions. The first session was in June.

"We want to teach young people of southern and eastern Kentucky confidence and skills, as well as inspire a deeper commitment to their hometowns and this region," said The Center for Rural Development President and CEO Lonnie Lawson.

The program emphasizes technological skills development and fosters an entrepreneurial spirit, leadership and commitment to rural Kentucky. During each of the two summer sessions, Scholars received 12 hours of instructional training and hands-on experience working in one of three program majors: information technology, engineering and digital video production.

Rogers Scholars provides opportunities for scholars to meet and interact with national, state and local speakers. Scholars were inspired by a message delivered by guest speaker Kenny Davis, captain of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team. While Davis and his team were in Munich, Germany, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, killed two members of the Israeli team and took nine hostages. He also shared the story of the U.S. basketball team's controversial loss to the Soviets in the gold medal game. The American team had been undefeated in the last 62 Olympic competitions.

Scholars are encouraged to make their communities a better place to live and complete a community service project after they return to their home communities. In conjunction with PRIDE - Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment - all 60 Scholars participated in a community service project to clean up the shores of Lake Cumberland. Scholars picked up 239 bags of trash and 48 tires at two sites on the lake.

Rogers Scholars was founded by The Center in 1996 in cooperation with U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers' efforts to promote youth development in this region of the state. During the last 12 years, 599 scholars have graduated from the program.

"Being selected as a Rogers Scholars is an honor for the student, their school and their community - it is a highly competitive process," said Jessica Melton, associate director of education and training for The Center. "These students truly represent the best and brightest minds in our region."

For more information on Rogers Scholars or any of the other youth leadership programs sponsored by The Center, contact Jessica Melton at (606) 677-6000 or by e-mail at jmelton@centertech.com.