The Stay Together Appalachian Youth (STAY!) Project is the only youth-led, regional, grassroots network for young people (ages 14-30) in Central Appalachia. Its mission is to provide critical education and leadership training that will help future Appalachian leaders find meaningful and sustainable ways to actively participate, create change, and remain in their home mountain communities. One program in its beginning stages, the Black Appalachian Young & Rising (BAYR), supports Black youth leadership in Appalachia and has already shown a glimpse of how young black folks in Appalachia coming together can be a powerful force for creating change in the region.
2021 Grant Recipient. A small grant will assist one of the STAY! coordinators, Mekyah Davis, who will be working in his hometown of Big Stone Gap, VA. He will be partnering with Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards to establish a public community building and office space in town. Funds may also go to STAY’s membership support fund, which facilitates STAY! members’ participation in local community events. STAYS! fiduciary agent is Highlander Research & Education Center Inc.