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Appalachia to be celebrated

Knowing where you come from is important when it comes to knowing where you are going.

Five Lawrence County students appear to have this concept perfectly in hand, even at a young age.

Ashton Hieronimus, a fourth grader at Dawson-Bryant Elementary; Dylan Herrmann-Holt, a fifth grader at Ironton Elementary; Paige Looney, a sixth grader at Fairland Middle; Sean Paulus, a seventh grader at Dawson-Bryant Middle; and Hunter Schenewark, an eighth grader at Fairland Middle, won an essay contest sponsored by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

The purpose of the contest was to have students describe how living in Appalachia inspires them.

Judging by these and other entries, the students can see through the stereotypes and stigma to see the great benefits that come from living in southern Ohio and Appalachia.

Of course, critics could point out all the things that are wrong with our region. But these students chose to see the many strengths that include close-knit communities, strong work ethic, natural beauty and a good quality of life for most residents.

Who knows where these five students will end up but at least they likely won’t forget where they come from.