Belonging: Youth Voices On Wyoming's Outmigration

Wyoming has been faced with a declining population and around 60 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds leave the state every year. The ENDOW Initiative, the state council concerned with diversifying the state's economy, has made reducing the outmigration of youth a top priority.

The "Belonging" series features the voices of young people from across Wyoming in conversation with each other exploring what's behind their decisions to leave or stay.

Wyoming Public Radio's Tennessee Watson is producing the series in collaboration Cheyenne East High School teacher Charles Fournier.

Throughout the series, we will explore the idea of a Wyoming where young people want to be, from economic, political and cultural perspectives.

"I Wouldn't Change A Thing About Wyoming"

Sep 9, 2019
Charles Fournier

Recent Torrington High School graduates Quentin Meyer and Ryan Walson love Wyoming as it is. For our "Belonging" series, the childhood friends sat down to reflect on the agriculture and stories that pull them to stay while acknowledging the career possibilities that may draw their lives outside of the state they hold dear.

"We Kind Of Live In The Middle"

Jul 19, 2019
Charles Fournier

Though they have felt like outsiders at times, Allen Pino and Catalina Pedroza—who are both pursuing careers as educators—feel a strong sense of loyalty to Wyoming. For WPR's "Belonging" series, they sat down to discuss racial identity and how Wyoming stereotypes can be at odds with a vision of a state full of potential.

Charles Fournier

June is Pride Month. So this first installation of the "Belonging" series is a conversation between Connor Sears and Jesse Archambeau. They're both 2018 Cheyenne East High School grads who left for college in Peoria, Illinois where a more prominent LGBTQ community has helped them to foster their own identities. Now, they struggle with the reality that their absences perpetuate a trend that leaves Wyoming's queer youth without the mentorship they themselves yearned for.