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CRD hosts Step-a-Thon for summer youth leadership programs

By Allison Cross

Supporters of The Center for Rural Development's youth leadership programs can help raise money for the programs one "step" at a time by joining in on The Center's first ever Step-A-Thon fundraiser on October 16, 2021.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support The Center's three summer youth programs - Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers, and the Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI), which are provided at no cost to parents or students throughout Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

The Step-A-Thon will consist of a 12-hour time period from 8amET to 8pmET where participants can record the steps that they take by using a mobile device or wearable (Apple Watch, FitBit, etc.).

Leading up to the event, participants will be reaching out to businesses or individuals who can commit to pledging a certain amount of money per step or give a general donation. Therefore, the number of steps taken will determine the amount of funds raised.

Participants have to pre-register at in order to obtain the pledge form. Deadline to register is October 15, 2021.

"The Center's youth programs provide a way for students to step outside of their comfort zone without fear or hesitation," said Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at The Center. "These programs, which are provided at no cost to students from all walks of life, have become an essential way for youth to discover who they are and what they want to be in life. It's vital that we continue to support these programs so we can make sure that they are here for years to come."

The Center's youth programs have graduated more than 3,000 students since 1998. The programs are supported solely by donations and fundraisers like the Step-A-Thon.

Rogers Scholars, The Center's flagship youth program, was established through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) that "no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future."

The intensive one-week summer program provides valuable leadership skills and opportunities for high school students in 45 Kentucky counties to build their skills as the region's next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders. The 2022 application period will open on November 1st. Students apply during their sophomore year.

Rogers Explorers is a three-day and two-night program on a leading Kentucky college campus where experts will guide them through hands-on assignments. The program is provided at no cost to eligible students within The Center's 45-county primary service area.

Rogers Explorers is presented by The Center in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, and Union College. The 2022 application period will open on December 1st. Students apply during their 8th grade year.

ELI is a weeklong summer leadership camp for student entrepreneurs. ELI provides high school students with an in-depth look at what it takes to start their own business venture -- from idea development to building a model prototype of their business concept. The 2022 application period will open on January 1st. Students apply during their 9th, 10th, or 11th grade year.

The Center for Rural Development serves 45 counties in Southern and Eastern Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Boyd, 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. For more information about The Center's youth programs, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator at The Center, at or call 606-677-6019.

This story was posted on 2021-10-06 14:37:10
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