Video: Clemson nurtures emerging scholars

Clemson nurtures Emerging Scholars

Navigating the North State

California’s far-northern tier belies the state’s image as a mecca of wealth and privilege. In fact, with adult poverty rates above 20 percent, this vast rural expanse faces a host of social problems—including poor health, housing insecurity, and drug addiction. But community leaders across a five-county area see the path to progress, and they’ve teamed up to broaden that path for northern California residents. As one leader of North State Together points out: “It all came down to education.”

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Standing tall in Texas

The Rio Grande Valley of Texas is the fastest-growing region of a booming state—and that presents challenges. Among the biggest: preparing residents for skilled jobs that are cropping up too fast to be filled. This education challenge is particularly acute in south Texas, where the distances are vast, the heritage rural, and the people quite poor; nearly 90 percent of valley residents are considered economically disadvantaged. But an area network called RGV FOCUS is attacking the problem in force.

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From ‘The Corridor’ to Clemson

The rural regions along Interstate 95 in South Carolina have long been called the “corridor of shame.” The name stems from a 2005 documentary that showed how decades of grinding poverty and governmental neglect essentially doomed area residents to a Third World education. Progress is still slow along the corridor, but it’s occurring—and a Clemson University program called Emerging Scholars is part of the change.

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Climbing the Hoosier hills

In tiny Switzerland and Crawford counties in southeast Indiana, only 17 percent of adults have earned associate degrees (compared with 38 percent for the state overall), and a significant number lack even a high school diploma. Until recently, there were few places where area residents could go to advance their learning. But that’s changing, thanks to a coalition of organizations working to expand educational opportunity in the region: the EcO Attainment Network.

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