ESSEX — Educators and students from the Adirondacks played a key role at the annual College For Every Student National Conference in Albany.
The two-day event brought together 420 educators, students, community and corporate leaders from 27 states, representing 102 schools and 35 colleges.
The focus of the conference, entitled “Tools for Tomorrow’s Leaders: Leadership, Mentoring & College Pathways,” provided resources and opportunities for low-income students to prepare for, gain access to and succeed in college.
Peru High School Principal Christopher Mazzella spoke of his commitment to cultivate student leaders, according to a news release from College For Every Student.
Each spring, Peru High School hosts a day-long gathering of student leaders from all over the Adirondacks. Mazzella said this event has been well received by students, who plan, prepare and present workshops to fill out the day.
He encouraged colleagues to use the College for Every Student practice of “Leadership Through Service” to create programs, resources and activities that allow scholars to forge a pathway to college.
One of Mazzella’s former students, Jhaneil Jump, spoke about using College for Every Student as a resource.
“If it weren’t for CFES, I don’t know where I’d be,” Jump, now a third-year student at SUNY Plattsburgh told attendees, according to the release.
“CFES helped me navigate financial aid, brought me on college campuses and allowed me to develop as a leader.”
The conference was attended by students in grades 9 through 12 from rural and urban schools.
Stephen Broadwell, superintendent of schools at Willsboro Central, a College for Every Student School of Distinction, presented strategies to incorporate the Common Core.
He focused on college and career readiness and highlighted a video project showcasing a local business in his community.
“The goal of the project is to create a 2-to-3-minute video that can be emailed to all the students in the school,” Broadwell said, according to the release.
The short video will highlight qualities the company looks for in employees, importance of experiences in high school and college, background checks and skills needed for success in the workplace.
“This is a student-based project with the students acting as the videographers, interviewers and production team,” Broadwell said.
Crown Point Central, Elizabethtown-Lewis Central, Keene Central, Keeseville Elementary, Plattsburgh High, Ticonderoga Central, Clinton Community College and Paul Smith’s College were also represented.
In his opening remarks, College for Every Student President and CEO Rick Dalton recognized the Adirondack K-16 educators, students and mentor community who are giving students the resources and confidence they need to be successful in college.
Featured speakers at the conference included Steve Pemberton, chief diversity officer and vice president for Walgreens, and Lt. (R) Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, founder of Educational Achievement Services.
College for Every Student is a nonprofit organization based in Essex. It works with 200 schools in 24 states to help its students move toward college success.