A peculiar phenomenon is taking place in rural America.
After decades of people leaving their hometowns in search of better pay, safer work and urban conveniences, Millennials are beginning to move back to the mountains to save their communities from seemingly inevitable deterioration.

“In Appalachia, we’re taught that in order to be ‘successful’ we have to leave. There’s this notion that if we stay, we’ll be stuck here forever.”

— Kendall Bilbrey, native of Wytheville, Va., now lives in Big Stone Gap, Va.

Millennials Return

As a kid growing up in Appalachia, you’re given two choices: get out while you can, or stay. Kids who have the chance to leave are told to go elsewhere for college, get a good education, have a career and make something out…


How four undocumented immigrants are working toward achieving their own versions of the American Dream.

This is a compilation of four stories. The subjects are all undocumented, and they all immigrated to America with their families as children under the age of ten. These undocumented minors identify as DREAMers.

DREAMers not only identify as such because of the piece of legislation they’re named after, but because of the obstacles and experiences they face trying to accomplish their dreams.

The obstacles undocumented students face — fear of their parents’ deportation, being a primary provider for their families, not being able to afford college — are resulting from a country that is divided on immigration reform. Those…

Ryan Weisser

@Washingtonian ux specialist | dc digital journalist | #au2015 IJ grad

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