In Appalachia, it’s tough to pick just one neighborhood to highlight because corps members live in varied towns across the region. One thing that’s consistent throughout Appalachia is that corps members find themselves living in the center of the community where they work—surrounded by the town square, restaurants, their students’ homes, and the schools where they teach. On nice days, walking or biking to school is an option for some teachers, and along the way, you might find yourself in a conversation with a few of your students’ parents.
The communities where Teach For America - Appalachia works have been incredibly hospitable to new residents. One 2011 corps member remarked, “I don’t think I ate dinner in my own home the first month I was here.” Corps members often receive invitations to join families for church, birthday parties, potlucks, or other social events.
Kentucky’s rural Appalachian region continues to be defined by the legacy of coal mining and energy production as well as the natural beauty of the area. Despite the challenging socio-economic conditions that Appalachia is known for, the area has a great deal to offer, including an abundance of natural woodlands, streams and wildlife that will thrill outdoor enthusiasts. Many parts of Appalachia are also within a two to three hour drive of Lexington and Louisville—Kentucky’s two largest cities. And Kentucky’s low cost of living means a first or second year teacher’s salary can go much farther here than in other parts of the country.
Corps members interested in rural development, sustainability, and small-town living will feel right at home in eastern Kentucky. Opportunities to get involved in your local community exist throughout the region. Efforts to create new programs with local residents --such as developing a farmer’s market or community garden, or starting an athletic or music group-- will be met with enthusiasm. An open mind will go a long way in Appalachia, where opportunities to create and innovate are endless, and where locals are eager to support new causes that better their communities.
Info & Stats
|In a school with other corps members or alumni||85%|