Interactive Presentation Illustrates Students’ Experiences and Effects on Summit County

Billy, Danielle, Aiden, Francis and Caleb need you to help guide them, from cradle to career.

During Summit Education Initiative (SEI)’s Cradle to Career Experience, all audience members have a role to play. Whether an individual becomes a student (e.g., Billy, Danielle or Aiden), or a student’s advocate, everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Cradle to Career Experience participants

Cradle to Career Experience participants assume roles of fictional students as they move through the cradle to career continuum toward prosperity or hardship.

The hands-on, interactive approach not only puts some adults in students’ shoes, but it also encourages individuals to think about how to disperse their own resources to help more students meet with success.

“We designed this experience to help community members develop a greater understanding of how each transition point in a child’s educational progress impacts future success and opportunities into adulthood,” says Dr. Matthew Deevers, senior research associate at SEI and Cradle to Career Experience facilitator. The six critical transition points within a child’s education include Kindergarten Readiness, Third Grade Reading, Eighth Grade Math, Ninth Grade Success, College & Career Readiness and College & Career Persistence.

Cradle to Career Experience participants

Torchbearers Akron returning members participate in the Cradle to Career Experience at Mason Community Learning Center in Akron.


Tall, retractable banners – one representing prosperity and the other, hardship – stand at either end of the continuum SEI facilitators create for each Cradle to Career Experience. “Students” move closer to either side based on the hypothetical academic performance in their profiles, provided at the beginning of the presentation.

The goal? To get yourself or your student into the prosperity zone – or as close to it as possible.

“We’re ultimately seeking commitment from business leaders and employers, funders, parents and other community members to volunteer or donate their time, money and/or other resources to help more Summit County students and adults lead prosperous lives,” says Derran Wimer, SEI’s executive director. “The interventions we discuss with participants after the experience will hopefully inspire community members to get more involved.”

Cradle to Career Experience participants

Torchbearers Akron Cradle to Career Experience participants display posters representing life outcomes of fictional individuals based on where they end up along the continuum.


Individuals from organizations that may be interested in hosting a Cradle to Career Experience presentation for their staff or others in the community may complete the request form at The Cradle to Career Experience Engagement Form, which lists Summit County interventions for students, is available at For additional information about the Cradle to Career Experience, contact Lindsay Ridinger at or 330-535-8833, ext. 601402.