YES-Appalachia works with students from five public middle schools in Ashe and Watauga counties of North Carolina, supporting 33 middle school Scholars and 31 high school Scholars. The United States has only recently recognized the value of investing in the education of students living in rural areas, although the US Department of Agriculture has found that rates of child poverty in Appalachia are amongst the highest in the country. Before the 2016 presidential election, Young Eisner Scholars were already being identified and supported in rural North Carolina. The Young Eisner Scholars of Appalachia are from schools where 58% of students experience economic disadvantage. With the support of YES, our Scholars in Appalachia are more fully exploring both their home counties and the outside world. With a taste of what life is like away from home, Young Eisner Scholars draw from their experiences to better appreciate from where they come and increasingly become more confident about their contributions outside the Appalachia region and within.
We would like to thank our partners, Gear Up, the Community Music School, and the College Access Partnerships department at Appalachian State University.