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On Tuesday, January 31st, Alice Lloyd College will open the new academic year with its first convocation of the spring semester. Addressing the assembly will be Kevin Smith, a young, successful leader from Appalachia who is responsible for founding the non-profit group Young Professionals of East Kentucky (YPEK). Smith’s organization is chiefly concerned with preparing and nurturing young professionals to lead with vision and passion, which is a mission that Alice Lloyd College has espoused throughout its history. Knowing and understanding that Appalachia routinely loses its most talented individuals, Smith’s YPEK seeks to create opportunities in the region that will aid young people in staying in or returning to the Appalachian mountains.

Smith, currently a graduate student at Princeton University’s prestigious Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, loves Appalachia (especially his native East Kentucky) and wants to give back to this place by making a difference. Speaking about his life’s mission, Smith has said, “There is a real need for development in East Kentucky, and I aim to use my skills and abilities to benefit the region. … My goal is to bring back new ideas and new solutions.” He, along with YPEK, specifically hopes to target problem areas such as economic development, healthcare, and education. Having been Legislative Correspondent to the United States Senate Republican Leader and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Smith’s passion for excellence, public service, and leadership will act as an effective and shining example to the College’s students for what they can also achieve as leaders for Appalachia.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 31st, at 1 PM in the Estelle Campbell Center for the Arts on the campus of Alice Lloyd College as we welcome this exciting and intriguing guest as part of our Caney Convocation Series.

To find out more about Kevin Smith, click here to visit the website for Young Professionals of East Kentucky (YPEK) or check out their Facebook page. Also, Mr. Smith was featured last year in an episode of WYMT’s interview series Issues and Answers. Click here to view Part One of that interview and here for Part Two.