2019 Rogers Scholar and Pulaski County High School student Shelbie Black has found a creative way to turn something old into something new again.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Black spent much of her time at home making pet toys for her “Paws Up” Rogers Scholars community service project.

She sewed more than 250 hand-crafted pet toys from recycled T-Shirts and jeans donated by family and friends. She plans to donate the items to the Pulaski County Animal Shelter.

“This project has been very special to me,” Black said. “It is a combination of some of my favorite things: animals, recycling, and creating things. Sewing and creating with my hands has always been one of my greatest gifts and using this to stay productive and involved while social distancing has been an honor and privilege. It has been a highlight of my quarantine to be able to still give back to my community from home.”

“As her former kindergarten teacher, this just shows that she has always been a hard worker and a go-getter,” said Adrienne Buis of Eubank Elementary School. “Shelbie is always going above and beyond, and this is a great use of her time during the COVID-19 crisis that will certainly benefit the animals in the shelter.”

 Each graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program is required to complete a community service project. For more information about Rogers Scholars, visit www.centeryouthprograms.com.