Hundreds gathered for the 2018 School Connect Summit, filling the GCU arena with anticipation, as community leaders from 43 school districts, and 362 businesses and community organizations, met to align their efforts around education.
This diverse group came together to focus their creative energy, unique resources, and strategic support around our most precious resource – Arizona’s next generation of leaders.
Dynamic and inspirational guest speakers shared about their personal experiences connecting Arizona youth with resources, educational opportunities, and mentors, as well as their hopes for the future of Arizona’s children.
Know 99 video: School Connect Summit 2017 at Grand Canyon University
We heard from Lin Sue Cooney, Director of Community Engagement at Hospice of the Valley, and former newscaster for 12News, who was raised by a single mother with a sixth-grade education. Lin Sue and her siblings were so heavily influenced by the passion and mentorship of Arizona public school teachers that she, and all her siblings attended college and pursued successful careers.
Brian Mueller, President of Grand Canyon University, told the story of a GCU basketball player who was so moved by Arizona youth that he changed career paths to join the education community as a teacher and is now a principal supported by Grand Canyon’s initiatives to give back to Arizona schools.
Dr. Lattie Coor, former President of Arizona State University, and Founding Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, spoke about the importance of aligning civic engagement around education because of the powerful connection between the community and our schools.
Breakout Sessions were dedicated to training, motivating, and building partnerships throughout our local communities. Participants learned how to engage the community in win-win relationships, and how to align these partnerships to bring strategic support to Arizona schools.
Ultimately it is the collective impact of many hands working together to accomplish big dreams, but these community partnerships are created one connection at a time. As Tracey Beal, Executive Director of School Connect, reminds us,
We truly do stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, leading the charge to build an Arizona who gives back to our communities and prepares a hopeful tomorrow for our children to thrive.