The impact poverty has on youth was the topic of ACCORD’s most recent community forum held October 24, 2017 at the David Howe Public Library. Three senior Teen Advisory Board members alongside a school district administrator Katie Ralston, a retired officer Bernie Reilly, and trauma specialist Justin Towers, spoke regarding personal experiences and research regarding the impact of rural poverty on youth. Students attending report the continued need to add the voice of their generation to large scale community issues such as poverty.
“In small communities we look out for one another,” noted a TAB member when describing her volunteer efforts at the mobile food pantry. In Allegany County one in four students is living below the poverty level.
“Growing up in a home with poverty increases the likelihood of trauma,” affirms Towers. This leads to a myriad of other issues discussed by the panel.