By Amber Meade, Communications Operations Manager, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Building leadership skills for the future.
That’s what Rogers Scholars is about: providing leadership and college scholarship opportunities to upcoming high school juniors in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.
According to centeryouthprograms.com, the Center for Rural Development’s flagship youth program helps develop the skills students need to seize their potential as the region’s next generation of business and entrepreneurial leaders.
The 2021 Communication and Media Studies group of Rogers Scholars got the opportunity to tour the new Campbellsville University Mass Communication building at 901 Meader St. in Campbellsville, Ky., and hear from journalism and public relations professionals.
During their visit, the group heard from Benjy Hamm, assistant professor of mass communication. He gave two presentations; one on journalism and one on public relations, each running an hour long. Hamm’s classes were interactive, giving students the opportunity to participate and learn in an immersive environment. One student, Anna Farmer from Pulaski County, said, “I liked the exercises we did. I got to learn a lot I didn’t know about the group of kids I was here with.”
Hamm’s lessons weren’t strictly about journalism and PR. They went beyond and even got philosophical at one point with student Ginger Johnson from Wolfe County asking Hamm, “What is your biggest regret in life?”
Although Hamm waited until the end of the session to give his answer, Johnson got one:
“I don’t usually think of life in terms of best and worst. This question is a hard one because my kids are healthy, and all my close relatives are alive, and my career has worked out pretty well. However, I’d like to go back to when I was 17, 18 and 19 and be more adventurous and see a larger world than I saw. I came from a very small town and went to a very small college and the world to me was tiny.
“I have now since been able to open my worldview. I found that larger world at 30 and 35 and I would’ve liked to have found that at 18. I wish I would’ve said yes more instead of no and not been so timid. I wish I would’ve risked failure more.”
While the students thought they were getting a life lesson, they also were getting a lesson in journalism: ask the hard questions so you will get the good answers.
Alex Meade, instructor of mass communications and TV programming and production director, gave the facility tour, showcasing their new on-air TV studio, radio booth, control room and classrooms.
According to the center’s website, during this intensive week-long program, Rogers Scholars work on building their leadership skills, participate in a series of team-building exercises; receive hands-on instructional training from professional experts in engineering, healthcare, and civic engagement; 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 during their sophomore year and, if selected, will attend one of two Rogers Scholars summer sessions just before they enter the 11th grade.
Since the program’s inception in 1998, there have been 1,374 high school students who have graduated from Rogers Scholars, and potential scholarships valued at more than $11 million have been offered to graduates by 19 participating colleges and universities.
For more information on Rogers Scholars and about selection criteria and application information, visit https://centeryouthprograms.com/rogers-scholars-application-splash/.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.