PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – A program at the Appalachian Wireless Arena Thursday brought the future generation to the stage to provide a plan for progress.
The Entrepreneurial Coal Lands Redevelopment Program is working to ignite change.
“Although our main focus is not in coal anymore, coal is still part of our program,” said CEDAR President and Executive Director John Justice. “Because coal will always be part of our history.”
Taking a look at the region through new, or at least younger, eyes.
“Just talking about mental health and bringing about normalizing it,” said Oni Terrado from The Craft Academy. “is something that our generation is moving forward, and future generations.
The event brought students from Magoffin, Pike, and Rowan Counties to the Appalachian Wireless Arena, competing for cash by presenting ideas to help develop the place they call home.
“We feel like people in the audience are listening and ideas are being heard and are really going to make an impact,” said Makinna Caudill from Magoffin County.
They’re using former coal sites as their potential planting grounds to present ideas like tourism hubs, mental health outreaches and more.
“It’s amazing what they find,” Justice said. “What they discover that has been around is forever, but we’ve never had a reason or had to get out of our comfort zone, get out of the box.”
Students learning about the factors that built the region while looking ahead to the future they hope to build.
“Being able to come up with ideas and know that, hey, we can also do something,” said Chase Stiltner from Phelps. “We can make a difference. We can put our work or our kinds to better use and better work. Like, we don’t have to just sit still and wait.”
At the end of the day, The Craft Academy took the first place win, with Phelps High School in second and Magoffin County High in third.
Officials say it was a great way to see students being part of the solution as they move toward a better tomorrow.
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