Teen Week: Addie Rogers

(by Emily Williams/Paducah Sun) Teen Advocates for Youth Involvement
From a very young age, Addie Rogers has had the ability to not only spot a need, but be a part of the solution.
Photo of Addie RogersWhen people asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would confidently tell them she wanted to be president of the United States.

Things haven't changed much for the Paducah Tilghman senior, who has worked diligently to lay the academic groundwork needed to reach her collegiate goals. With a hope to one day run for public office, Rogers has begun to immerse herself in local government, interning with Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless and the Paducah Human Rights Commission.

"Growing up, politics and government were always really important to me," Rogers said. "I was fortunate enough to have parents who taught me to give back and get involved."
Rogers, the daughter of Mike and Rebecca Rogers of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.

Each Monday in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region. Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and receive a $5,000 scholarship. An additional student will be chosen for an Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.

With a passion for young people and what Rogers calls a "myriad of issues" that faces the demographic, she has served as a mentor for at-risk and homeless students in her community.
She also founded Informed and Involved, an annual night for young citizens to engage with local leaders and learn more about their community.

"I've moved around a lot, and Paducah is such an interesting place to live," Rogers said. "It's a UNESCO city, and we have all of these advantages that oftentimes the youth don't take advantage of and that kind of struck me. That's just who I am."

Rogers created Paducah Pathfinders, a program designed to promote involvement in UNESCO-related local events.

"All of these opportunities have given me an outlet to build on this sort of platform I've created to help youth get involved in their community," she said.

Rogers said she has noticed that although most kids in her class can vote, many don't know how to register to vote or don't attend city hall meetings.

"The youth have such great ideas for Paducah, and it's just something that I wanted to facilitate," she said.

Rogers said her partnership with the Paducah Human Rights Commission has been enlightening, allowing her to learn what can be done legally to protect the rights of citizens. Through her research, she said she learned that because those under the age of 18 cannot file complaints, more human rights violations occur within the youth community.

"I am currently working to create a council composed of members from each of the four high schools," she said. "These council members will be trained to mediate and ultimately prevent violations among middle and high school students in McCracken County."

Rogers is a member of the Paducah Tilghman speech and debate team and the school's track and field and cross-country teams. She also was named Youth L.E.A.D. Teen of the Year. She is a Kentucky Commonwealth Ambassador, student council historian, a member of the Beta Club, secretary for the Regional Medical Explorers Club 2501 and historian for Future Business Leaders of America.

She placed ninth in the state Kentucky Mock Trial Competition and is president of the Interact Club, leading volunteer outreach for school and community projects.

A Kentucky Governor's and AP Scholar, Rogers ranked fifth in her class with a 4.325 weighted grade-point average and has high hopes for the future. Although she has not yet decided where she will go to college, she plans to study political science and criminal justice. She said her dream school would be Vanderbilt University.

Rogers said she is passionate about what the projects she's involved with can do for the community.

"My passion is to create a place better than before, to create an environment that is fair, equal and just for all citizens," she said.