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“Educate, Empower, and Inspire”High Rocks and The Hub Transform Young Lives and Enrich Communities

Our Valley is full of treasures for people of all ages. For the community in general, and especially for rural Appalachian youth, High Rocks and The Hub are two such gems. Born in the summer of 1996, High Rocks Academy of Hillsboro, WV, began a rainy, two-week summer camp adventure for 13 girls that has now expanded into multiple communities and several programs that have helped and continue to help innumerable young people in our area to grow and thrive. 

The Four Pillars that all of High Rocks programs embody are: Learning, Leadership, Community Engagement, and Health and Wellness. Their mission is “to educate, empower, and inspire.”  I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Keveney Bair, Hub Program Manager, about the integral role The Hub, a program of High Rocks, plays in enriching the Lewisburg community and beyond. 

Serving up a delicious beverage at The Hub Cafe – Photo Courtesy of Keveney Bair, The Hub

“The Hub is a community center, and we welcome the community members to come here to use our space, attend our workshops. We have a grant to pay community members to teach STEAM workshops (which is STEM, plus the arts.) It’s a free workshop for kids up to 18 years old.”

I had the fun opportunity to attend one of the community workshops offered by The Hub and High Rocks as part of the FREE 2024 Folk Arts & Culture Workshops lineup: Appalachian Apple Baking. Those of us in attendance were treated to a brief history of apples in West Virginia, and we were able to make two delicious apple dishes under the tutelage of Keveney and Lisa Carter, Hub Student Coordinator. We also took home several mouthwatering recipes.  Even if you missed this wonderful workshop, there are three more Folk Arts and Culture Workshops happening in May: Biscuits and Gravy, which will be held in Hillsboro at High Rocks on May 11, Campfire Cooking at the Ruby Grow High Tunnel in Hillsboro on May 18, and Forest Foraging at High Rocks on May 25. Check out The Agenda and the High Rocks advertisement for more details. 

Attendees of the Apple Baking workshop prepare to sample varieties of apples

The Hub has two youth social enterprises that serve our community: The Hub Cafe and Tech Express (a computer repair and support enterprise.) These valuable enterprises employ local teenagers while teaching them how to run a business, general working skills, and community outreach. The Hub Cafe is a full-service cafe that provides free meals to Greenbrier County youth aged 18 and under, and affordable meals for adults. If you haven’t tried their menu items, you’re really missing out on nutrition and deliciousness. The Hub Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and will soon operate on Saturdays, too, for the summer months. Tech Express is open for drop-off repair service from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

High Rocks and The Hub offer so much to our communities. In addition to free tutoring for Greenbrier County students (including tutoring services from volunteer students of WVSOM, community members, and retired teachers), digital literacy workshops, and journaling workshops offered at The Hub, there are two summer camps offered at the High Rocks Hillsboro location in June and July. High Rocks was founded as a summer camp for girls and they are now navigating gender inclusivity. Interested parents with any questions can contact High Rocks Academy Manager, Kayla Reed, at 304-653-4891.  

Some fun activities are coming up in May. On May 4, The Hub is hosting a Star Wars Trivia Night from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Hub Cafe. This is open to the community and is free. On May 11, The Hub will host “Prom Pancakes,” an after-prom event designed to provide a safe space for teenagers to celebrate post prom. That event will be held from 10 p.m. to around 1 or 2 a.m. Students will have access to a balloon arch for pictures, games, music, and unlimited pancakes with a dozen different toppings. Tickets for this fun event will be available at The Hub and at Greenbrier East soon. 

There’s also an upcoming STEAM workshop for middle-school and high-school students coming up at The Hub on May 20 and 21, all about beekeeping and bee products. From May to November, students can expect at least one STEAM workshop per month. There will also be a journaling workshop for ages 14 and up, called Reflections and Refreshments: Journal Collage and Hot Tea. These workshops will be held every Wednesday in May from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Hub Cafe. 

Second Block Rock at the Hub, Photo Courtesy of Keveney Bair, The Hub

Starting in June, The Hub will also be at the Alderson Farmers Market with baked goods and produce from Ruby Grow, another one of High Rocks’ programs, a farming program. They’ll also be partnering with WVSOM for the Carrot Club offered at the Alderson Farmers Market to introduce kids to different kinds of produce and provide them with “Carrot Cash” to purchase a vegetable or fruit of their choice from the vendors at the market.  

There are so many things The Hub offers to our community, and when you support The Hub, you support that growth and strength of community. “I would love for everyone to know that we have space for the community to use to host interesting workshops. For example, we have a D and D group that uses our space every Friday night. We just want to provide a space where the community engages together,”  Keveney said. “When you come to the cafe or you visit Tech Express, you’re supporting our work with young people and our mission to educate, empower, and inspire young people of West Virginia. It’s a learning environment. When you come, our bottom line is not about profit, it’s about people, profit, and place. We’re investing in our community. We’re investing in the kids that work here.  The money we generate through the cafe and Tech Express helps keep that running.” 

Keveney continued, “Our main goal at The Hub is to work with young people and to invite the community in and create partnerships with them.” 

To learn more about High Rocks, The Hub, their programs, and all the amazing things they are doing, visit, The Hub’s Facebook page, and High Rocks Educational Corporation’s Facebook page. You can also call 304-653-4891, or 304-647-4994. High Rocks Lodge and Campground is located at 195 Thompson Road in Hillsboro. The Hub is located at 232 Lee Street N. in Lewisburg.  

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Lisa Coburn
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