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They are not afraid of better. But it wasn’t always that way.
Like so many rural young folks, presenters at a National Rural Assembly panel on youth issues said they were advised by loving family and friends to leave their rural homes to pursue greater opportunities. So they left, their excitement tinged with a niggling regret that wouldn’t let them alone.
The young people shared their stories at the 2013 National Rural Assembly about their daring decisions to follow their hearts back home to embrace no-holds-barred dreams of re-inventing their communities.
Devan Grote of Fay-Penn Development Council from Pennsylvania, Brett Tolley of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance from Massachusetts, and Andrea Salina of West Virginia Community Development Hub made their ways back to their rural homes, fueled by love of place and community to work for better.
In her introduction to the plenary in which they shared their stories, Kim Phinney, director of rural and tribal development at Youthbuild, demanded the crowd declare they were not afraid of better.