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2018 Rogers Scholar Chase Eastham of Pulaski County

Donate to Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers, and ELI on KY Gives Day

Our goal is to raise $2,500 to help support middle and high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky who attend these three summer youth leadership programs.

Your support will go a long way toward helping us provide valuable leadership skills and exclusive college scholarship opportunities to students who will become our region’s next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

Kentucky Gives Day is an online 24-hour annual fundraising event bringing charities and Kentuckians—near and far—together for a powerful day of action.

Rogers Scholars changed Chase’s life

2018 Rogers Scholar Chase Eastham

When high school student Chase Eastham attended The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program in 2018, little did he know his life was about to change forever.

He had just finished his sophomore year and was on the fast track to college and a possible future career in the medical field.

“If I’m being totally honest, before I went into the Rogers Scholars program, my entire future was all about me,” Eastham said. “I wanted to be the most successful I could be. I wanted to make the most money I could make. After listening to the speakers and meeting new people at Rogers Scholars, that’s not necessarily my goal anymore.

“Now I want to give back to my community,” he said. “Before Rogers Scholars, I wanted to go to a big city. Now my goals are to move back to the region (after graduating college) and give back to the people that helped raise me and made me who I am today.”

The Center’s three youth leadership programs—Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers, and Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (ELI)—are making a difference in the lives of middle and high school students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

On May 14, Kentucky Gives Day, you will have a chance to support young people, like Chase, who is dedicated to serving and making this region a better place to live for future generations.

“If you really care about the region, invest in the future,” said Eastham. “People invest all of the time in things that they think are going to make a difference. I think there is no greater way to invest than to invest in the youth that are going to be the leaders of this region.”

Eastham, a 2018 Rogers Scholars graduate and a junior at Southwestern High School in the Pulaski County School District, plans to pursue a biomedical science degree at Morehead State University and eventually become a neurologist.

“Rogers Scholars is an experience of a lifetime,” he said. “I was absolutely ecstatic to be selected as a Scholar. I couldn’t wait to make new friends and be a part of this experience.”

For more information about The Center’s youth programs, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator, at 606-677-6019 or email

Visit to learn more Rogers Scholars, Rogers Explorers, and ELI.