WILBURTON — Twenty-eight students, chaperones, Eastern staff and GEAR UP team members recently attended the 2017 NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. The group spent three days touring the University of California, Santa Cruz; Stanford; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of San Francisco, as well as area historical sites.
As the conference activities began, the eight students attended the first session of the Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), chaperones attended a “Chaperone Orientation” and members of the GEAR UP team attended “Connecting to the Big Picture: An Orientation to GEAR UP” presented by National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) Vice President for Government Relations Alex Cough.
The opening session of the conference began with NCCEP President and CEO Ranjit Sidhu welcoming more than 1,700 GEAR UP professionals from around the nation. Keynote speaker for the morning plenary session was Hill Harper, an award-winning actor, best-selling author, and philanthropist. Harper starred on the hit CBS drama CSI: NY, HLN’s How It Really Happened with Hill Harper, and Showtime’s award-winning series Homeland. Harper campaigned “The Future Demands Champions.”
Following the opening session, the eight student members returned to the YLS, a program providing a high–quality, national–level interactive training experience and peer–to–peer learning opportunity for 9th–12th grade high school students who are currently participating in GEAR UP programs.
Chaperones for the YLS students attended the Parent Leadership Institute (PLI). The PLI was designed to cultivate a group of parents and family leaders with a greater capacity to promote positive change in their children, school and community, and to move forward an agenda that centers on making college possible for all students.
Over the next three days, members of the GEAR UP team chose from 134 workshop sessions designed to help practitioners to excel, prove, and mobilize. Plenary session speakers included Senior Human Rights Advisor at the United Nations Chris Mburu who shared “The Future Demands Action.” Mburu, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is an international human rights lawyer from Kenya. “The Future Demands Career Readiness” was the topic for a panel of gentlemen—Art…