Home Russell County Pierce enjoys interactivity of Rogers Explorers program

Pierce enjoys interactivity of Rogers Explorers program

'I thought the classes were going to be boring ... but I liked how interactive [they were]. It made me more interested in what we were doing.'

Ella Pierce - MSU Explorers
Ella Pierce, an incoming freshman at Russell County High School, recently attended the three-day Rogers Explorers program at Morehead State University.
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Ella Pierce was intrigued right away when representatives from the Rogers Explorers program visited Russell County Middle School.

She already had some familiarity with the program from students she knew “a few grades ahead of me” who had talked about it or attended.

After hearing about it firsthand, though, she knew she had to apply.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity,” Pierce said. “They had a little sheet with more info that they gave us, and it had certain curriculars and the classes offered in the program. I liked all of the topics they went over.”

Pierce, an incoming freshman at Russell County High School, attended the program at Morehead State University (MSU) in early June.

While she isn’t sure that she necessarily wants to go into nursing as a career, she was interested in the chance to find out more about the profession.

And she was happy with what she learned.

“The nursing classes really drew my attention while I was there,” Pierce said.

What she did not expect was how much she enjoyed exploring MSU’s Ronald G. Eaglin Space Science Center and learning about the 21-meter satellite antenna overlooking campus.

Overall, Pierce enjoyed how the interactivity of the entire program kept her engaged throughout the three-day stay.

“I liked all of the activities and all of the college classes,” Pierce said. “I thought the classes were going to be boring — just sitting there and learning things — but I liked how interactive [they were]. It made me more interested in what we were doing.”

She added that the community service projects, which included time on a farm, was one of her favorite aspects of Rogers Explorers.

Perhaps her favorite part of the experience, though, was interacting with the other students.

“I really liked building relationships with different people,” Pierce said. “That made it so much more fun.”

Her positive experience at Rogers Explorers has helped Pierce consider applying for two of the Center for Rural Development’s other youth programs — Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI) and Rogers Scholars — as well as the Governor’s Scholars Program in the future.

She thinks incoming eighth-graders who are on the fence about applying for Rogers Explorers should “try it out.”

“It may seem scary, but I really enjoyed it,” Pierce said. “A lot of people might say, ‘You’re gone for multiple days.’ But it’s so educational. It prepares you for the future, what college life might be like. You’ll discover things you might not know that you’re even interested in.”

Ella is the daughter of Kelly Pierce and the late Shawn Pierce.

The Rogers Explorers program is an intensive three-day, two-night program focused on cultivating skills in leadership, technology, math, science, and community service.  It is developed, coordinated, and supervised by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with University of the Cumberlands, Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Asbury University, University of Pikeville, and Union College.

Stories for all four Russell County students who attended Rogers Explorers — Pierce, Marlei DeVore, Laila Hammond, and Asa Woodcock — will be featured on The County Line in the coming days.

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