Campbellsville High School junior Myles Murrell represented Taylor County at the Rogers Scholars program this summer, and says it helped him get over a fear and step outside his comfort zone.
The Rogers Scholars program is a week-long program that focuses on developing business leaders.
Murrell said he enjoyed making new friends at Rogers Scholars, in addition to listening to speeches and learning about leadership.
He completed a high ropes course, which he says helped him conquer his fear of heights.
“I learned to come out of my comfort zone and talk to new people,” he said.
Murrell said Rogers Scholars helped him push himself to do activities he wouldn’t normally do, such as climb heights and ballroom dancing.
“Attending Rogers Scholars helped me appreciate school more and the opportunities I have, and to take advantage of them while I can,” he said.
This is the fourth year in a row that a student from CHS has been chosen to represent Taylor County at Rogers Scholars.
Samuel Kessler, who is a senior finishing his high school studies at Gatton Academy, attended last year.
Blair Lamb, who graduated from CHS in May, attended two years ago.
And Murrell’s sister, MaKenzie, and Paige Dabney, who graduated in May 2016, attended the summer before their junior year of high school.
Rogers Scholars is the Center for Rural Development’s flagship youth program. It provides leadership and college scholarship opportunities to help upcoming high school juniors in southern and eastern Kentucky develop skills they need to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.
During the program, Rogers Scholars work to build their leadership skills, participate in team-building exercises, receive hands-on instructional training from experts in engineering, health care and video production and interact with nationally recognized business leaders and entrepreneurs. The program focuses on developing skills in leadership, technology, entrepreneurship and community service.
High school students apply to attend Rogers Scholars during their sophomore year, and attend the program the summer before their junior year of high school. They attend for free.
Murrell attended the program at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia.
The Rogers Scholars application process is lengthy and includes an in-depth essay.
Murrell wrote about doing away with the mountaintop removal method of coal mining, and developing a manufacturing facility in eastern Kentucky that would be dedicated to producing electric cars with solar components. Creating the facility, according to Murrell’s essay, would provide employment in a region with an unemployment rate that is double the national average.
The application also focuses on extracurricular activities and community service.
About 500 students applied, and fewer than 100 were chosen to attend.
Murrell attended the Rogers Explorers program when he was an eighth-grader, and said he enjoyed that experience. Rogers Scholars, he said, was a bigger and better version of Rogers Explorers.
Murrell is the son of Richard and Garnetta Murrell. Mrs. Murrell is a fourth-grade teacher at Campbellsville Elementary School.