At my service site, Clinch-Powell, I analyzed how to implement a Financial Opportunity Center in a rural community. A Financial Opportunity Center is way to tie employment, education, financial literacy, and income support together to better an individual more fully. This type of center has only been done in urban cities thus far, which is why I am researching and exploring the possibilities of how this model would adapt to a rural community.
I personally have had some experience in the Appalachian region. I go to school in the region, as well as volunteer for service projects with my school in this region. I also have family near the area, but the main thing that brought me up to the Appalachian region was my school, Carson-Newman. I am continuing to fall in love with the amazing views in the area and the community.
The CHEF gathering in Berea at Fahe’s main office was overall a great experience. It showed me how we can make such an impact on a community through working together. This gathering also gave me great connections to several people in Fahe, as well as other sites under them. I especially enjoyed seeing the Eastern Scholar House and the Head Start Program working together to better the community in more ways than one. Joint efforts of the two organizations really is making a difference, more than if one did it alone. I am looking forward to taking back what all I learned from this trip to make my project even better, because it will be beneficial to partner with many organizations to make a greater difference.