2019 Rogers Scholar Emma Bates found a way to repurpose a common cosmetic tool to help with wildlife preservation.

Bates, a student at Letcher County Central High School, donated 300 recycled makeup applicator wands to Mountain View Wildlife Rehabilitation that will be used to clean off oils and other contaminants from wildlife animals.

She coordinated the “Assisting Wildlife One Applicator at a Time” project as a way to have a positive impact on the animals in Eastern Kentucky.

“This project was an incredible way to gather the community together to help a local wildlife rehabilitation center and the animals they serve,” Bates said. ‘It was also an opportunity for me to engage in organizing and overseeing a charitable event.”

Bates issued a call for donations in Letcher and surrounding counties and requested donated makeup applicator wands be mailed to one central location. After the wands were retrieved, she cleaned and prepared the wands for distribution to Mountain View Wildlife Rehabilitation in Hazard, KY.

“Partnering with Emma on this project allowed me to rethink how common items can be repurposed to contribute to wildlife preservation,” said Nyoka Adams. “I would have normally thrown away my used makeup applicator wands, but through this partnership, I was able to donate them to be recycled and eventually help animals in need.”

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.