Trey Kay Published

Us & Them: Reconnecting West Virginia's Disconnected Youth

Disconnected Youth - Image
Disconnected Youth
Lalena Price

There are so many young people in the U.S. who are not in school, working, or training for work, that there’s a name for it. They are disconnected youth and West Virginia has one of the highest rates in the nation — 17 percent.

It’s a tough group to track down because there’s a stigma attached to this status; however, a few programs are trying to bridge this gap by connecting with young people and giving them a pathway and the support they need to train for a job and a career.

On this episode of Us & Them, host Trey Kay explores why some young West Virginians struggle so much to move forward. We’ll also hear from a few Mountain State leaders who talk about how we might help them.


Michelle Phares
Dayton Eisenhart and his fellow crewmates show furniture they’ve constructed while at YouthBuild in Elkins, W.Va.

Kyle Vass
Colleen Moran sits in her office where she works as a psychologist who specializes in helping young people in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Apr. 30, 2021.

This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Subscribe to Us & Them on Apple Podcasts, NPR One, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher and beyond. You also can listen to Us & Them on WVPB Radio — tune in on the fourth Thursday of every month at 8 p.m., with an encore presentation on the following Saturday at 3 p.m.