The founding members of the Foundation For Appalachian Advancement, four individuals from Southwest Virginia, came together to form the organization for many different reasons. The most important of which are to create opportunities where they are needed and our tremendous pride in the Appalachian region, history, heritage, and people.
Growing up in Appalachia gives a unique perspective on life and the world. In Appalachia, our world consists of countless small towns nestled in the mountains with a breathtaking environment, places where we know our neighbors, and when disaster strikes we do not complain and simply hold out our hands… we roll up our sleeves and go to work to help each other and our communities.
We call these majestic mountains home and generation after generation, since our nation’s founding, have raised their children here to enjoy what Appalachia has to offer.
But, as those from the Appalachia region know, growing up in this area has its challenges. Families constantly find themselves fighting against a lack of economic diversification throughout the entire region. Simply stated, that means many places in Appalachia lack employment opportunities. For generations this region has prospered with a heavy reliance on Coal mining but that is coming to an end. The past few years have seen numerous mining operations closed down and families losing their only source of income with little or no future job prospects.
According to the Appalachian Regional Commission:
- Per capita personal income in Appalachia is about 20% below the national average.
- Per capita investment income in Appalachia is about 30% below the national average.
- Most counties in Appalachia have lost population in the previous decade.
- College graduation rates are much lower than the national average. It is estimated that less than 12% of adults in Central Appalachia have college degrees.
In addition to economic factors, Appalachia also struggles against cultural stereotypes. This has been glaringly obvious for decades in movies and television where we are portrayed as uneducated and socially backwards compared to cultural norms in other parts of the United States or world. However, traveling across our Appalachian region paints a much different story than what most people would assume.
Therefore, having recognized these problems for years, we organized the Foundation for Appalachian Advancement to put forth the effort to help solving these problems. To help make our Appalachia have a better tomorrow.
The FAA takes pride in our heritage and wants to promote it. We take pride in the work ethic of people across Appalachia and want to see greater job opportunities for them. We invite those not from the Appalachian region to come and visit. Enjoy our scenic beauty and get to know the people of Appalachia. Explore everything Appalachian has to offer and take a tour along the most beautiful stretch of mountains and valleys you may ever see in this lifetime.
Why support the Foundation For Appalachian Advancement? The answer is simple: To make Appalachia a better place with a bright future. Join us in our journey. If not you, then who? If not now, then when? Some of our communities cannot wait any longer.
The FAA Needs Your Help!
We need your help to support this great region. Your donation is tax deductible and goes 100% toward FAA assistance programs and operational expenses. Any amount is greatly appreciated!