For Athens resident Jim Fuller, joining the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio’s I’m a Child of Appalachia™ Network (ICAN!) was a decision based on his life-long connection to and belief in the potential of the region.
As the first in a series of stories profiling our ICAN! members, Jim shares his thoughts on the importance of membership and education in Appalachian Ohio. He recounts his own experiences growing up and then raising a family in Athens near Ohio University. It’s a story of life, love, professional success in Appalachia – and the dream of an office on Court Street.
“I feel ICAN! is an important and much needed entity within our region. I believe I still have a responsibility – a mandate – to educate and assist, in any manner possible, the children of Appalachia. We also need to educate those outside the region about how special we as a culture and people truly are.
As a child in my third grade class, I was told the world would become smaller yet in constant conflict; fossil fuels would become a burden on our demand for energy; and poverty and hunger would continue to plague our world. But I also was taught that if I got involved, if I became educated, I could influence and minimize these harbingers of our future.