Dustin Roberts, 28, the development coordinator for UA Cossatot, was named the De Queen Rotary Club’s new president at their annual Officer Installation and Awards Banquet held on June 25 at Mary Pops.
Roberts joined Rotary a year ago after another UA Cossatot member moved on and a spot was open.
“I was involved as soon as I was initiated as a member,” he said. “I’ve really learned quite a bit in Rotary the past year I’ve been here. Rotary has helped me find a passion for service.”
Roberts said that the Rotary motto, “Service above Self,” was a big part of what Rotary is.
“It’s about changing lives on a local and international level through service,” he said, noting that this is the first civic club he has been a part of.
In his first year, Roberts has sponsored two new members and participated in Rotary events, including the Fall Festival at Herman Dierks Park last October. The festival included a car, motorcycle and tractor show, a 5K run, games and inflatables for kids and vendors of unique foods.
He also helped with the Senior Citizen’s Breakfast and has fed Little Leaguers as well.
As president of the club, Roberts said that he would like to see more people find a passion for service and increase the club’s membership. He said that currently there are a fair number of members but hoped he could improve on it.
“I’d like to see more engagement within Rotary events and Rotary service projects,” he said was another goal of his. “Also, increasing the Rotary image and sharing the message of what Rotary is about,”
Roberts, who hails from Wickes and is a former restaurant server and manager of a Mena dining establishment, has been at the college for five years now, overseeing the college foundation, which provides scholarships and other funding to UA Cossatot students as well as provide for the needs of the college itself.
“I really love it,” he said. “I really enjoy working with our donors and helping them, basically, help others. I like to help them find a way to use their funds for what they’re passionate about in education. I’ve seen firsthand how education can improve someone’s life and make a difference.”
Roberts is a 2014 UA Cossatot graduate. He is also, currently a student at the University of Arkansas, where he’s studying Human Resources and Work Force Development and plans to graduate next fall.