Clay County visit from Geography student at Rowan University

Autumn Staats



Dear Editor,

I first wanted to start out by introducing myself.  My name is Autumn Staats and I am a 31 year old Geography student at Rowan University in Southern New Jersey outside of Philadelphia.

I am currently writing my thesis on Southeastern Kentucky, particularly Clay County.  My thesis is pertaining to the difficulty of life since the decline of the coal industry.  During my research I've found that the loss of such a big economic source is devastating to the lives of so many in southeastern Kentucky.  I have become very moved by the personal stories I've read and would love to hear more.

During my research I've become particularly interested in hearing a real story from a family or former coalmine worker about the impact that the cuts have on themselves, their family and their community.  Id love to even get in contact with a community organization or advocacy agency that may be able to help.

I'm also in the beginning stages of developing a type of tourism project that would bring travelers to see the beautiful scenery and to experience Kentucky in the proper form.

I'm coming into town with my cousin November 6-8th.  We're driving down and have a flexible schedule, but I'm really hoping that you can point me in the right direction with local organizations we can meet with, or even if yourself would be available.

I really believe that Clay County has many hardworking, close-knit and nurturing people and I would love the opportunity to meet some of the people that are part of it and learn about the history of the community.  I want to advocate for the people and I would appreciate any information you may have for me.

I did also send an email to the Manchester Mayor, Councilman, and State Representative.  I know its election season so I'm sure they will be busy, but it would mean the world to me if you could help in any way you can.

My contact information is:

Autumn Staats


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