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Lonnie Lawson, right, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, and Delaney Stephens, left, youth programs coordinator and community liaison, meet with Rogers Scholars Ambassadors Scotty Reams, Jacob Williams, Kelly Brown, Wayne Logan, Yulia Perevozchikova, Faith Call, and Alex Chumbley to work on the back-to-school supplies community service project.

Rogers Scholars Ambassadors are lending a helping hand to get students in East Bernstadt Independent School District in Laurel County ready for another school year.

Former graduates of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program—now serving as Rogers Scholars Ambassadors—have collected back-to-school supplies for pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students in East Bernstadt schools.

These and other school items purchased through contributions will be donated to East Bernstadt students to prepare for the start of fall classes and kick off the 2012-13 school year.

The effort is part of a community service project to make a difference in the region and the residents served within The Center’s 42-county primary service area of Southern and Eastern Kentucky.

“The community service project taken on by these Rogers Scholars Ambassadors is a testimonial to the leadership qualities they possess,” said Delaney Stephens, youth programs coordinator and community liaison for The Center. “They are a tremendous asset to the Rogers Scholars program, and I thank them for their dedication and support for this service project.”

Two ambassadors are selected by members of each Rogers Scholars graduating class to continue to represent them after they complete the one-week summer youth leadership program.

 Rogers Scholars Ambassadors are tasked with attending meetings throughout the year, providing support for program curriculum, and carrying out community service projects. The Ambassador program was started by The Center in 2003.

The Rogers Scholars program provides leadership and scholarship opportunities for rising high school juniors to build their careers in Southern and Eastern Kentucky without having to leave home to find their futures.