AmeriCorps VISTA Hanna Gabbard Joins SOAR team

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc (SOAR) is excited to announce the addition of Hanna Gabbard to its team.

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Originally from Buckhorn, KY, Gabbard is a graduate of Morehead State University. At MSU, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with an emphasis in Regional Analysis and Public Policy as well as a minor in Appalachian Studies.

As an AmeriCorps VISTA with SOAR, Hanna will be spending the next year working to address the challenge of employment in the 54 Kentucky Appalachian counties, helping people build income sustainability and rise above the poverty level.

“As an eastern Kentucky native myself,” said Gabbard “I am excited to connect with small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the region.”

In working with SOAR, Hanna will help support business owners in learning how to compete with global employment, work remotely, and embrace new trends.

“We are thrilled to have Hanna join our team as an AmeriCorps VISTA,” said Joshua Ball, associate executive director of SOAR. “Hanna has a passion for Appalachia Kentucky.  She represents a generation that must be at the table when we discuss and implement strategies built upon creating a future in Appalachia.  We look forward to learning from Hanna and having her contribute to our work across the region.”

Gabbard expressed her pleasure of working with SOAR. “I believe in Appalachia and the people that live here, and I am honored to be working on their behalf,” Hanna said.

For more information on SOAR, visit  To learn more about SOAR’s partnerships and impact across the region, visit  To contact Gabbard, call (606) 766-1160 or email