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The Vision
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The Vision of the Raising Appalachia Mission Project began with an inspirational event: Mike's Story

It was within the normal course of filling needs when needs are seen, that the inspiration for the RAMP program was born. A young man in his early twenties became a resident of one of the mission’s housing units. He made it very clear when he arrived that his intention was not to continue the lifestyle from which he came. His family was poor, and had always been poor. But, he wanted something else for himself. He enjoyed watching the many volunteers as they came from near and far to help with maintenance projects at the mission. When he was encouraged to join them, he did so with eagerness and attention. It wasn’t very long before he wanted to expand his horizons, and was enrolled in and HVAC education program. He shared his education progress with mission staff regularly and was encouraged to explore his opportunities in the HVAC field, and guided with some contacts of the mission. Not long after, he announced that he was moving into a new place as he had found a very good job as an HVAC specialist for the school district. He was gone from the mission, but we received updates from him regularly. Now he owns his own home, is married has two children, and is very happy. Although Mike’s story occurred organically, with simply the encouragement of a dedicated group of volunteers, it became clear that, with the right research and strategy, Mike’s story could be replicated over and over again.