In a rundown Appalachian town, Deborah Hicks once dreamed of an education that would take her far away from the life she knew. She was a precocious little girl who was angry about the harsh poverty that surrounded her, reports. Despite not receiving a strong education at her local public school, she had the grit and determination that would eventually get her out. Hicks studied to become a teacher, and when she got her degree, she set out to help girls who grew up as she did. In her beautiful and tragic book, The Road Out: A Teacher’s Odyssey in Poor America, Hicks chronicles this journey. After taking a teaching job in Cincinnati at a local university, she stumbled upon a severely poor community that used to be a “haven for southern white migrants from Appalachia in the postwar decades.”

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staff and wire services reports