Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Community & Leadership Development

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Community and Leadership Development

First Advisor

Dr. Julie N. Zimmerman


Family support, both financial and social, can impact the educational aspirations of youth. Studies have shown gender also plays a role in those educational aspirations. While there has been some research done on the educational aspirations of youth in Appalachia, the research on female youth Appalachia is less explored.

This study looks at the educational aspirations of female youth in Appalachia by surveying a group of young women who belong to the Robinson Scholars at the University of Kentucky. Participants completed a brief, one time survey answering questions about the types of social support received and the providers of that support.

Preliminarily data supports the literature; in the absence of financial capital, social capital may be used to empower young women. The data also supports the idea that most females are impacted by their mothers’ influence more than other members of their family or community.

Conclusions and discussions will include a plan for further research, as well as the implications for educators and students throughout Appalachia.