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Rural Matters

Mar 6, 2020

Michelle chats with Dreama Gentry, who for the last two decades has led Berea College’s educational outreach into Appalachian Kentucky as the executive director of Partners for Education, which has an annual budget of more than $40 million. Gentry designs and implements projects that build on four core strategies: engaging families; lifting educational aspirations (including an upcoming Rural College Access and Success Summit; building academic skills; and connecting college and career. By leveraging funding from federal programs, such as GEAR UP and Promise Neighborhoods, Partners for Education provides opportunities and support to more than 50,000 rural Kentucky youth. Gentry discusses the importance of access, early education, and committing to a place-based approach in the rural sector. And she talks about a “cradle to career” approach toward education and the importance of establishing a national dialogue on creating healthy rural communities. This episode was sponsored by the Foundation for Rural Services,; Feonix,; and Berea College’s Partners for Education, whose annual Rural College Access and Success Summit brings together approximately 400 teachers, principals, superintendents, college access professionals, and other rural leaders to share ideas and strategies for ensuring rural youth have the opportunity to successfully transition from high school to college and career,  For more information visit