By Magen McCrarey
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Scotty Reams of South Laurel High took on the weight of local hunger this week as he walked through numerous neighborhoods door-to-door politely asking if they had food to spare.
Reams is a Rogers Scholar, a competitive program created by Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), based out of Somerset’s The Center for Rural Development for scholarship opportunities based on a student’s personal achievements.
Through the program, Reams has organized a community service project to uphold the program’s four areas of focus: community service, leadership, entrepreneurship and technology.
“The problem of hunger in my community was initially brought to my attention through my work with The Backpack Club. I was amazed that the program aids over 1,200 students per week in Laurel County Schools,” Reams said.
In addition to his volunteer service through the Backpack Club, he has assisted in several food drives at his school, The Center For Rural Development and at a lemonade stand during The World Chicken Festival. The lemonade stand itself raises money for children affected by cancer and other forms of life-threatening illnesses.
His Rogers Scholar project of organizing a local food drive has taken on a life of its own, an unexpected result that many entrepreneurs become faced with.”I learned that things aren’t as easy as they may seem. I was in for a surprise when I realized that the project wasn’t going to come together with the snap of a finger,” Reams said, adding, “Above all, though, I have learned that it is immensely rewarding to help those in need. Not only do they receive something they’re in need of, but you also walk away with a sense of appreciation for the things you are blessed with.”
As a Rogers Scholar, it’s Ream’s hope for the future to organize more community service projects in the Laurel County area. “The people of London and Laurel County have been monumental to my success, I hope that I will be able to raise more awareness about the troubles many of my people face, and possibly encourage others to join in helping,” he said.
“I think being a leader doesn’t require specific qualities or actions. Some of the traits that could be found in a leader though are things like having a good attitude even when things aren’t the brightest, trying your absolute best to help those in need, and assuring your group members.”
Reams continues to represent Laurel County in Congressman Rogers’ Rogers Scholar program out of 60 students across southeastern Kentucky. “London is a beautiful town with great people to call home; I hope, as a Rogers Scholar, that I can continue that legacy,” Reams said.
To find out more about the Rogers Scholar program an scholarship opportunities, visit rogersscholars.com.