What can you make out of recycled blue jeans? Just ask 2020 Rogers Scholar Aaron Hesse of Wayne County. He used recycled blue jeans donated by community members to make more than 100 handcrafted pet toys. Afterward, he sold the pet toys to raise money to purchase 450 lbs. of dog food for the Wayne County Animal Shelter. “There are around 6.5 million companion animals put in animal shelters each year in the United States. My primary purpose of this project was to give these animals happiness again while using resources around us that could easily be overlooked as unusable. The pet treats I created will hopefully give pets in rescue centers a bit of fun and happiness again. Additionally, with the money I raised and will continue to raise, I hope to help pet rescue centers continue to contribute to these precious animals’ lives.” Aaron, a senior at Wayne County High School, plans to continue the Rogers Scholars community service project, and with the community’s support, drop off food and recycled pet toys throughout the year. Each graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program is required to complete a community service project.