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ALC student Jonathan Blair is a student work supervisor for our grounds work-study, which handles all routine aspects of trash removal, lawn care, supply delivery, and any other special projects. Jonathan and his crew have been hard at work on campus this semester keeping our campus clean and well-groomed while sharing the importance of hard work with fellow work-study students.

Jonathan, a junior social-studies education major at ALC, is from Wise, Virginia. Growing up between Kentucky and Virginia, Jonathan watched as his family went to work mining and transporting coal to make ends meet. In this region, coal is crucial to local economies, and other ALC students’ families trace deep ties to the industry. Hard work in tough places is the only way for many families to make it. Jonathan has brought some of this work ethic and perseverance with him to Alice Lloyd.

Jonathan is a member of the Appalachian Writing Project network. Through the network, he created a photo essay with the work-study crew he runs. On January 19 at 4:30 pm EST, Jonathan will be joined by Stanford professor and Pulitzer Prize Winning American Historian David M. Kennedy at the Rural Assembly event, “Connecting Our Heartlands.”

During the event, Jonathan will show and discuss the photography project he created with his peers in ALC’s work-study program, which provides a character-based education while charging no out-of-pocket cost for tuition to mountain people. All are invited to join this virtual event from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm EST. Click here to register

Jonathan’s involvement with “Connecting Our Heartlands” is part of an ongoing documentary media and public engagement initiative – American Creed: Citizen Power – that explores American idealism and activism from a range of young adult perspectives. American Creed: Citizen Power is a follow-up to the 2018 Citizen Film CBS production American Creed.

Jonathan recently joined fellow contributor Sam Schimmel and host Kimball Coe on an Everywhere Radio Podcast, where he discussed growing up in coal country.

Click here to listen to Jonathan discuss the home he loves and the importance of hard work to mountain people. Also linked here is The Daily Yonder, which features the photography project and a video trailer for the upcoming American Creed: Citizen Power documentary film.