A McCreary County teen is helping local children in foster care with her community service project as a Rogers Scholar.

Macy Faith Daugherty, 16, is a junior at McCreary Central High School and a 2020 graduate of the Rogers Scholars program through The Center for Rural Development.

“My experience as a Rogers Scholar was absolutely amazing,” Daugherty said. “Even though the circumstances were very different than normal, it was still very enjoyable online over Zoom. The Center for Rural Development did an amazing job of providing all us Scholars with many different opportunities.”

One thing that the novel coronavirus pandemic hasn’t changed is that each Rogers Scholars graduate is required to complete a community service project. Daugherty chose to collect luggage for children in foster care.

Calling her project “Love Luggage,” Daugherty was inspired to collect suitcases, backpacks and duffel bags by a family friend with firsthand experience of the foster care system. Some donors also offered money, which she used to purchase more bags.

“My decision was solely based on the fact that I saw what children in foster care go through and it really didn’t sit well with me,” she explained. “Many foster kids pack their belongings in trash bags or don’t have anything to pack in at all.”

Daugherty added that she wanted these amazing kids to have something to call their own since so many move around more than they stay. “I know that has to be so hard,” she said. “My hope was that the luggage given to them could help maybe just a little.”

The teen split a grand total of 82 bags evenly between McCreary County DCBS (state Department of Community Based Services) and Benchmark Family Services’ Somerset office.

“Being a Scholar has truly opened my eyes to what an impact I, as an individual, can make within my county as well as the counties surrounding me,” Daugherty said. “I had a great time and I am beyond thankful to have even been considered/chosen to be a Rogers Scholar.”

In addition to being a Rogers Scholar, Daugherty is also a graduate of the Rogers Explorers program. She takes dual-credit courses through Eastern Kentucky University. Outside of academics, Daugherty loves to sing, is a second-degree brownbelt at the Whitley City Shaolin School for Martial Arts, and works part time at Kristina’s Kitchen in Whitley City.

“I plan to go to college for Elementary Education,” Daugherty said. “I found my love for teaching two years ago when I started tutoring elementary-age kiddos. I hope to attend college at The University of the Cumberlands, because of the amazing education department they have!”

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