Struggling to Stay in Eastern Kentucky: Derek Akal's Story

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a special show that features the next installment of our Struggle to Stay series following Derek Akal. Derek is a young man from Harlan County, Kentucky whose grandparents encouraged him to leave Appalachia, to go to college and find opportunity out of state.

Derek was eventually awarded a college scholarship to play football. But an old neck injury led him to the difficult decision to drop out of school and come back home.  

In this installment of the Struggle to Stay, Derek and his family share nearly 100 years of Appalachian family history.