The northeast corner of North Carolina, or the Albemarle region, is commonly known as pass-through country for vacationers headed to Virginia or the Outer Banks.
 
Nearly one resident in every five lives in poverty, and one in four is over the age of 60, according to local government statistics. Community members say a lack of economic and educational opportunity push and keep young people out.
 
“Some people [in the Northeast] talk about the three R’s: reading, writing, and the road to Virginia,” said Andrew Harris, an educator who grew up in Perquimans County. “That’s what you learn.”
 
Harris taught at local public schools before traveling around the state to study innovative education models. While on the road, he saw opportunities for kids that didn’t exist back home, like project-based learning and specialized coursework.
 
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