ASHLAND — Four Boyd County students have been selected to attend The Center for Rural Development's 2019 Rogers Explorers youth leadership program.

The Center for Rural Development selected Ashland Middle School students Aubree Hay, Abby Meek and Parker Williams and Boyd County Middle School student Sydney Kinnel.

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, Math) fields of study.

They will join 210 students for three days and two nights on a leading Kentucky college campus where experts will guide them through hands-on assignments. The program is provided tuition-free to eligible students within The Center's 45-county primary service area.

"Rogers Explorers gives students a one-of-a-kind learning experience to explore different career opportunities and possible career paths in some of today's most challenging professions," said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. "The program encourages creative thinking and teamwork, builds leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and instills in students a commitment to service. Hosting the camps on college campuses also gives students a glimpse into higher education as they move forward."

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

Hay is the daughter of Dirk and Amy Hay of Catlettsburg; Kinnel is the daughter of Wayne Kinnel and Tara Kinnel; Meek is the daughter of James T. Meek and Robyn L. Meek; and Williams is the son of Ray and Rebekah Williams, all of Ashland.

For more information on Rogers Explorers, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at, call 606-677-6000, or visit


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