Click the arrow to read the opening paragraphs that set the article’s tone.
“There are many tough places in this country: the ghost cities of Detroit, Camden and Gary, the sunbaked misery of inland California and the isolated reservations where Native American communities were left to struggle. But in its persistent poverty, Eastern Kentucky — land of storybook hills and drawls — just might be the hardest place to live in the United States. Statistically speaking."
"The [New York Times], compiled six basic metrics to give a picture of the quality and longevity of life in each county of the nation […] Weighting each equally, six counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin) rank among the bottom 10.”
We’d be lying if we didn’t say that seeing this hurt. Sadly, we’ve seen this kind of story before- often! Media outlets all over the world love to come to our home region and report about its negatives. It’s as if poverty didn’t exist in places like New York. Worse, it’s as if, as in instances of poverty in places like New York, there’s not another story. We occasionally read the NY Times in these hills, and we enjoy the stories of successful businesses and entrepreneurs that rise above that city’s poverty.
Like New York, we too have another story. A hopeful story. A story of progress told by entrepreneurs and business owners, progressive citizens and movers and shakers, young turks eager to change their communities from the inside out.
Rather than wait on the New York Times to tell that story, we’ve decided to tell it ourselves. Through words, photos, tweets, social media, and video, we will tell the tales of 6 entrepreneurs living in eastern Kentucky and working in each of the counties the Times reported as being in the bottom 10.
Through their stories, we hope to present a different picture about this land’s quality of life, progress and hope. Further, by celebrating these entrepreneurial successes, we hope to inspire more people in our region to adopt entrepreneurship as a way of life. By highlighting these people’s interesting careers and lives, we hope to start a discussion in the media about a different side of the region than the one they so often choose to report.
Click on the links below to see the stories of the young entrepreneurs who live in the 6 counties the Times ranks among the worst places to live in America. They’ll tell you far from being among the “worst places to live”, for them, these counties rank among the top places to live and run a business in America.