Champion of Appalachia award goes to Hindman Settlement School

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BEREA, Ky. (WYMT) - For only the fourth year, Christian Appalachian Project is selecting an organization to receive the Champions of Appalachia Award.

It is meant to highlight organizations in the mountains that significantly impact people's lives in a positive way.

This year, Hindman Settlement School has been selected as the recipient of the award. The school has been educating children in our region for more than 100 years. Their dedication to youth is what organizers believe sets them apart.

"We say that we make a difference with one individual, one family at a time", said Guy Adams, who is President and CEO of Christian Appalachian Project. "And Hindman does much the same thing. And of course, with an educational focus, that has been an undervalued aspect of Appalachia in general."

Recently, construction was completed at the school to add a new building as well as other renovations. The executive director of the school says this project is just one example of how the school grows with the community's needs.

"I'm sure, just like a lot of organizations that have been around forever, you can always kind of shut the doors and say 'we've done enough'. But we don't believe that", said Brent Hutchinson, Executive Director of Hindman Settlement School. "We really believe that our best days are yet to come, that our community has needs that we can be a part of meeting, and that there are conversations that we need to be in the middle of really to impact people lives and help them thrive where they are."

Organizers say the school needs to be recognized for helping kids in the region grow and for doing that work for generations.

"We do like organizations that especially shine the light on all things educational", said Adams.

Hutchinson says this award brings satisfaction to everyone at the school.

"The settlement school has been around for so long, 116 years", said Hutchinson. "When we have people today recognizing that good work and realizing that we still have a significant impact, it's gratifying for me and for our team."

Adams says the award ceremony also serves as a fundraiser for the Christian Appalachian Project and helps highlight all of the organization's donors and volunteers.

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