Whether you’re from rural Indiana or any small town in the United States, you’ll recognize that there are several different types of small town residents: those who stay for their entire lives, those who leave to go to college and never look back, and those who venture beyond the town but eventually return. In Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas’s book Hollowing Out the Middle, the authors discovered that “adults in the community were playing a pivotal part in the town’s decline by pushing the best and brightest young people to leave, and by under-investing in those who choose to stay, even though these young people are their best chance for a future.” Their book is a call to action, identifying the problem of rural brain drain and urging small towns to invest in their youth.
Although the authors of the book did not study in Indiana, small towners can agree that the phenomenon is present everywhere. The Warsaw/Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Education Summit will be focusing on rural brain drain this year in a thought-provoking and informational event for community members. Patrick Carr, author of the book, will attend the summit as well!
Who: Community members and educators from Kosciusko County schools
What: Light refreshments will be served from 4:00-4:30 p.m., followed by Patrick Carr’s presentation from 4:30-5:15 p.m., and time for Q&A from 5:15-5:45 p.m.
When: 4:00-5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3
Where: Warsaw High School’s Performing Arts Center
Who: Anyone interested in the vitality of rural America and our small towns
What: Breakfast will be served from 7:00-7:30 a.m. followed by the keynote speaker from 7:45-8:30 a.m. There will then be two panels (panel 1 – entrepreneurs, agriculture, and business; panel 2 – community leaders, civic leaders, political leaders, and educators) of successful individuals who made the choice to either remain in or return to the local community in which they were raised. Following the panels will be roundtable discussions.
Where: Lakeland Christian Academy
When: 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 4
For more information on the event, click here.