Whitesburg KY

Anthony Sean Potter is Rogers Scholar

Past participants have described Rogers Scholars as an “experience of a lifetime.”

Letcher County’s Anthony Sean Potter will get the chance this summer to have that experience himself and become part of a program providing leadership and scholarship opportunities to the region’s future leaders.

Potter, a 15-year-old student at Letcher County Central High School, will join 60 rising high school juniors from across southern and eastern Kentucky for an intensive one-week summer session of Rogers Scholars. The program will be held at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

Rogers Scholars, named after U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, (KY- 05), emphasizes the development of technological skills and builds in participants a sense of leadership, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a commitment to rural Kentucky.

Potter said he plans to use the experience in Rogers Scholars to benefit his community.

“After participating in (Rogers Scholars), I hope to have a stronger commitment to my community by using skills I gained while in the program,” Potter said.

He said his goal in life is to complete his education and return home to Letcher County where he can be a role model and community leader.

Potter is a member of the Student Advisory Team, cocaptain of the academic team, 4-H Teen Council leader, 4-H camp counselor, and a teacher, leading camps and classes at the county Extension office. He also serves as a community volunteer helping with a number of projects, including American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Christmas in the Park, and Little League sports.

“The Center is very excited about the Rogers Scholars program this summer,” Jessica Melton, associate director of education and training, said. “We received a large number of applications again this year, and we look forward to meeting all the students who were selected to participate.

“These students will become our region’s future leaders,” Melton continued. “The Center is anxious to provide them with skills that they need to succeed in life and their future careers.”

Graduates of Rogers Scholars are eligible to apply for college scholarships from 13 colleges and universities.

The students, who currently are completing their sophomore year, were selected from The Center’s 42- county primary service area to represent their home counties. They will attend one of two week-long summer sessions planned for June 28-July 3 and July 12-17.

During each of the sessions, Scholars will receive hands-on instruction in one of their declared majors — information technology, video production or engineering — participate in a series of team-building leadership exercises, be involved in a community service project, and interact with some of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs and renowned business professionals.

“The Center’s mission is to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “We will accomplish that goal by providing our youth the skills they need to thrive and succeed in their careers without having to leave our region.

“I truly believe if we keep these talented young people at home, we can transform this region for generations to come,” Lawson added.

Potter, who plans to pursue a career in education, is the son of Anthony and Rebecca Potter of Mandrill Drive at Thornton.

Since 1996, approximately 599 Rogers Scholars have graduated from the program and potential scholarships, valued at $7.2 million, have been offered to graduates by participating colleges and universities.

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