students work in kitchen

Work-based learning and apprenticeship: The challenge of being rural

Apprenticeship presents a powerful strategy to connect jobseekers to family-supporting wages and career advancement opportunities. While there has been significant funding dedicated to the development of registered apprenticeships over the past several years, rural communities and especially rural young adults have largely not benefited.

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Vote Sign

Opal Besaw: A Role for Schools and Media to Prepare and Engage Youth

Kalispell, MT high school senior Opal Bespaw believes every young person should be excited and empowered to vote. But how do we foster this excitement? By taking purposeful steps to reach out to young voters and involving schools and the media. Register for our livestream to talk more about how to get young people voting in rural places.

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Voting Rights-2

Fulfilling the Promise: Youth Voting Rights Livestream

The passage of youth voting rights was a critical piece of civil rights legislation. Join us for an intergenerational panel discussion with rural leaders as we reflect on the historical significance and current fight to fulfill the promise of the 26th Amendment.

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Tyler Owens

Tyler Owens: I Was Raised To Believe

In my family and community, we care for one another and that is just a part of life. There is no such thing as individuality in my family. No matter what I do in life, it would always circle back to my family. My actions, successes, and failures will always be not only a reflection of myself but of where I come from. Everyone that had a hand in raising me, taught me what I needed to know to ensure that I was brought up in a way of wanting to contribute to something that was bigger than myself.

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Young People — Rural America’s Most Valuable Resource

As part of the April 2021 Rural Assembly Everywhere Event, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project (RYCP) hosted a breakout session with rural youth development practitioners from across the country. Kathy Moxon, RYCP Co-Founder offers her reflections from that conversation.  

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Young poets share their work

Young Rural Poets Share Their Work This spring, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project invited rural young people from across the country to submit their poetry in response to our theme “My American Dream: Borderlands and Belonging.”   The borderlands are physically present across race, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender identity and sexuality, class, disability, or any other identity. Living in the borderlands can bring connectedness when we are able to shrink those differences in our communities but it can also bring the challenges of feeling like an outsider, facing fear of isolation, discrimination, and hatred as we carry our identities and try to navigate the borderlands of difference.   We asked young people to reflect

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My American Dream: Borderlands and Belonging

My American Dream: Borderlands and Belonging This past fall, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project announced our partnership with PBS American Portrait: A National Storytelling Project.  Utilizing themes from the American Portrait Project, we asked rural young people from across the country to respond to our prompt “My American Dream: Borderlands and Belonging,” which sought stories about the meaning and pursuit of the American dream and the obstacles people face as they strive to make their dreams come true.   This week we share the voices of three young adults and community leaders from Alamosa, Colorado: Eliasa Chavez, Garrett Pearson, and Katy Plumb.

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Opal Bespaw

Opal Besaw: I Was Raised to Believe

As part its collaboration with the PBS American Portrait initiative, The Rural Youth Catalyst Project asked rural young people from across the country to respond to the prompt “I was raised to believe…” This week, we are pleased to share the the voice and experience of Opal Besaw, a high school junior in Kalispell, Montana.

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We asked youth: What were you raised to believe?

The Rural Youth Catalyst Project asked rural young people from across the country to respond to the prompt “I was raised to believe…” Over the next few weeks, we are excited to share their submissions. This week we start with the responses that we received from Raychel Kool and Franklin Edwards, along with a Daily Yonder essay by RYCP co-founder, Kim Phinney, as they share their lived experiences of growing up LGBTQ in rural America.

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“I Was Raised to Believe”

Frankie Edwards believed he did not belong in a rural community. He shares how he came to reject that belief, and how paintings by his late uncle played a part.

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Rural Youth Catalyst is a partner of the Rural Assembly and The Center for Rural Strategies.

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