BENHAM – Future generations are less likely to be caught up in the region’s drug epidemic because of the seeds Operation UNITE has planted, said Dr. W. Bruce Ayers, president of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

“I am convinced the young people that are coming up aren’t going to be lost to us,” Ayers told UNITE staff members during a meeting held at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn August 26.

While acknowledging that substance abuse problems are still at unacceptable levels, “I believe you have turned the corner,” Ayers said. “There are so many things you are doing well. There are so many organizations in this region that have been put in place because of the vision of UNITE.”

Recognizing the leadership of UNITE, Ayers presented director Karen Kelly a mountain dulcimer crafted by Al Cornett, widely regarded as one of the commonwealth’s most accomplished artisans and an employee of SKCTC.