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Collegiate Summit

To understand why young people often leave rural Southern and Eastern Kentucky, 35 students from ten Kentucky colleges and universities were invited to continue a discussion started by their peers in 2009.

The student representatives met to discuss issues causing many of the region’s best students to leave the service area. They addressed challenges and possible solutions for how to retain youth and keep more future leaders in the region.

While being led by their peers in small groups, students shared their thoughts and concerns on educational attainment, entrepreneurship, economic development, and health and wellness.

U.S. Congressman “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) says that input is critical in ensuring that “no young person should have to leave home to find his or her future.”

Suggested action steps developed by student participants at the Summit will be shared with participating colleges, universities and local communities.

The Summit was presented by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and The Center for Rural Development. Forward in the Fifth worked with The Center’s Higher Education Consortium to recruit the schools’ participation.  The Summit was titled, “Insight and Dialogue Engaging Appalachian Students” (IDEAS).

Attending the summit were representatives from Somerset Community College, Alice Lloyd College, University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, University of the Cumberlands, Campbellsville University, Morehead State University, Hazard Community and Technical College, the University of Pikeville, and Lindsey Wilson College.

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