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    Click the link below to watch and read the full article written and the preview video prior to the presentation

    Congratulations to Wayne Riley being the recipient of the Eastern Kentucky Youth Leadership Carolyn Sundy Award. The EKYL Award is given to individuals who are from Eastern Kentucky who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and service to their region.

    The Carolyn Sundy Award is given to an Eastern Kentuckian who has made an extraordinary contribution to understanding, inclusion, and social justice in the region.



    The Dr. Carolyn Sundy Warrior Award Dr. Carolyn Sundy was a Harlan, Kentucky native who made it her life's mission to make Harlan County, and Southeastern Kentucky as a whole, a better place. She was a champion for the Appalachian region. According to District 3 Magistrate Paul Browning III, "In the world, whether you were nobody or somebody, you were the same person to her." She wanted everyone to be the absolute best version of him or herself that was humanly possible. Dr. Sundy was one of the founding members of KABHE, and she served in many roles throughout her tenure. Dr. Sundy worked towards the best for everyone she encountered and was a true champion for students and professional staff. Her passion was in education and helping students, especially minorities and women. In her 40+ year professional career, Dr. Sundy held many roles across Southeast Kentucky, including director of Upward Bound and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Southeast KY Community and Technical College. She mentored many of our KABHE members and others outside of our organization and did so indiscriminately and unapologetically. Dr. Sundy was passionate about serving and considered herself a 'proud Appalachian,' always giving back to students, no matter their background, ensuring that they all had an opportunity for the pursuit of education. Dr. Sundy was a true warrior who fought many battles with illnesses during her life. In 1990, she was told she had three years to live; she fought for 30 more years. She kept fighting, and one would never know if she was sick or not because even up until the end of her time on Earth, she was still joking and doing the same things she has always done. Although she fought through many illnesses, like cancer and progressive liver disease, Dr. Sundy made sure everyone had a seat at her table, giving each the same opportunity to make the most of themselves through her leadership and motherly character. She lived by the phrase, "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." She continuously lifted all of us, taught and encouraged us, and knew that we could be much better as a collective!


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