With poverty comes the seemingly inescapable curse of “toxic stress.” Toxic stress, the stress that results from being in an environment that is constantly stressful due to the lack of getting basic needs met, has been engrained in my family, our community, and our state. In our situation of notContinue Reading

You see, I came from an old coal mining town called Twin Branch Holler. Yes, I said Holler, NOT “Hollow,” although there is a sign beside the road there that says Twin Branch Hollow. There was no sign there when I was younger. I hear people say hollow and itContinue Reading

In the summer of 2013 I began to face my fears of speaking in public about politics, religion, and poverty as they pertained to some of my experiences living in southern West Virginia. My biggest fear was speaking in public. I was taught to not argue with anyone especially aboutContinue Reading