What is IG2BYITM?
The first annual It's Good to be Young in the Mountains was held in August of 2015. The "party where a conference breaks out" was a partnership between Higher Ground, Appalshop, and STAY. Over 250 participants from across central Appalachia attended the four day event. The event included workshops such as creative writing, linoleum block printing, sexy sex ed, basic personal finance; evening entertainment including a punk show, a performance by Roots and Wings, a performance by Higher Ground, local musicians, and headliner Angaleena Presley; and a vendors section for informational booths, craft booths and sales booths.
At the time of the conference many young leaders [and the young at heart] felt discouraged by the negative portrayal of Appalachia. Our communities were struggling, people were leaving, and unemployment was high. IG2BYITM gave participants an opportunity to celebrate all that makes Appalachia beautiful; to declare IT IS good to be young in the mountains.
Two years later we've decided to continue the work that began in Harlan, Kentucky. The second IG2BYITM will continue to celebrate Appalachian heritage but will also give participants a space to openly discuss their concerns and fears for our region. We hope you'll join us and be part of the discussion.
IG2BYITM participants at the Harlan Center, August of 2015
Who can attend?
Although the name of this conference is It's Good to be Young in the Mountains, we define that word "young" loosely. This conference is youth-led and the voices of young leaders will and should be heard in this space, however, we welcome participants of all ages to join us, listen, and share their own experiences.
It's Good to be Young in the Mountains will include hands-on workshops and panel discussions. Topics will include art, writing, politics, the environment and life skills. For a complete schedule, follow the link below.
It's never too early to register to be part of It's Good to be Young in the Mountains. You can find the conference application in the link below. Registration fee is $20 but scholarships are available.
Lodging is not included in the conference registration. Listed below are several lodging options near the conference.
Solomon's Porch (Meridzo Ministries)
202 Church St, Lynch, KY 40855
Lodging from $15-25 per night per person
Benham Schoolhouse Inn
100 Central Ave., Benham, KY 40807
Lodging from $79-99 per night
Discounts available for AAA, AARP and Veterans
The Friday night Crawdad concert will include free pizza and pop for all attendees.
Participants can order lunch and dinner to be delivered on Saturday of the conference. IG2BYITM will pay for one meal for each participant. Please complete the form in the link below by Monday, April 17th to reserve your meal[s].
For more food options visit the registration table.
IG2BYITM and Crawdad will be accepting donations for the Empower Project on Friday night and throughout the conference. Donations of pads and tampons will be accepted at the registration table. These donations will be distributed to Family Resource and Youth Service Centers at schools across Harlan County.
For more information about IG2BYITM contact us at email@example.com or call Cassidy Wright (conference coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org or
For help with registration or logistics please contact Alexia Ault at email@example.com or 270-791-1593.
Funding for IG2BYITM is provided by:
IG2BYITM will be held on the Cumberland Campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.
700 College Road
Cumberland, KY 40823
Please note that GPS systems may lose signal in the mountains.
Registration will be on the 2nd floor of the Godbey Appalachian Center.