2018 Rogers Scholar Taylor Roark of Perry County raised $415 from a bass fishing tournament to support autism awareness for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

Taylor Roark of Perry County organized a bass fishing tournament to raise awareness for autism for her Rogers Scholars community service project.

“I began planning in late March. I gathered donations, such as T-shirts, gift cards to a local tackle shop, and more to use as prizes for the tournament winners, but most of the money raised I wanted to donate to a local autism classroom,” said Roark, a student at Perry Central High School. “I teamed up with my high school bass fishing team to collect the things I would need for the fishing tournament.”

Roark, who graduated from The Center for Rural Development’s 2018 Class of Rogers Scholars, raised $415 from tournament entry fees and donations to support local students with autism.

“This project was very important to me, because my mother is a physical therapist for students with special needs,” Roark said. “I know how important it is to her to make sure children with autism are getting the equipment and education they deserve.”

Terry Roberts, former coach of the Perry Central Fishing Team, was impressed by Roark’s efforts.

“It was amazing to see everyone so involved and excited to fish,” Roberts said. “Taylor really put in the work for these kids!”

“Hosting this tournament made me feel like I had made an impact on something very important,” said Roark, a high school senior.

Roark is the daughter of Kenneth and Billie Roark of Vicco.