On Jan. 7, approximately 400 individuals of the greater Akron community convened at Quaker Station to tackle potential opportunities for increasing high school graduation rates. Summit Education Initiative‘s “Choices Not Consequences,” a GradNation Community Summit – the signature campaign of America’s Promise Alliance – invited students and caring adults to build an actionable framework to increase Summit County’s graduation rate to more than 90 percent. (Its current graduation rate is 88 percent.)
Keynote speaker and author Wes Moore, a veteran, Rhodes Scholar and founder of BridgeEDU, presented topics he discusses in his first book, The Other Wes Moore. Featured speaker David Delgado, Wooster, Ohio native and full-time graduate student assistant, shared the obstacles he experienced in childhood and ways he ultimately determined to make smarter decisions.
The nearly 130 students who attended the event had several opportunities to interact with the educational and business professionals who attended as well. Sessions such as “Listening to the Student Voice” encouraged the adults to approach student attendees for their insight on America’s Promise Alliance’s Five Promises, or the fundamental resources young people need to succeed at home, in school and out in the community. When prompted to select the top most priority promises for Summit County, attendees used stickers and large posters representing each promise to vote. The group determined caring adults, effective education and safe places to be the top three promises Summit Education Initiative should first focus on for the benefit of Summit County.
Summit Education Initiative particularly expresses many thanks to its National Presenting Sponsor, AT&T, and its Local Presenting Sponsor, GOJO Industries. Several other local sponsors and supporters may be viewed in the program at the link above.
The Jan. 8 Akron Beacon Journal story about “Choices Not Consequences” may be viewed here.
Highlights from Twitter posts published throughout the day may be viewed on Storify here. You may also search “#GradAkron16” on Twitter to read the conversations.