Highlights at APA

Prior to joining APA, I was involved with a summer program at Colgate University for three consecutive summers. The various roles I played in the summer program enabled me to work closely with recent high school graduates that were about to transition to college. This triggered my interest in the education sector, but at that moment, I was only exposed to the higher education sector since I didn't go through the k-12 system. As a result, I was always curious to learn more and get some exposure to the K-12 section of the education continuum. APA gave me that chance to be involved with a movement focused on educational outcomes at the K-12 level of education.

Two highlights come to mind as I reflect on my time at APA, namely: the Grad Nation Summit and Grad Nation Communities research. The number of people that showed up for the summit and the level or coordination that was exhibited throughout the event blew me away. Even more profound was the Grad Nation Communities meeting that was held on the last day of the summit. It was great to see community leaders sharing the progress made, but also forging more avenues for additional action in achieving the Grad Nation goals. In my experiences thus far, I have yet to see such a concerted effort among different communities from across the country, therefore, the summit was one of my major highlights at APA.

The second highlight, revolved around the research I was doing on the Grad Nation Communities. I was tasked with the responsibility of getting background information on the new grad nations communities in anticipation of introductory calls to them. This project allowed me to dig deeper on the challenges and the good work being done in over 20 Grad Nation Communities.  What struck me the most among all the communities across the country was the collaboration between parties interested in making an impact on educational outcomes among youth and children. At a time when political divisiveness is the order of the day; it was quite refreshing to see communities bringing various community stakeholders together to advance their various efforts on increasing educational outcomes among children and youth. In addition, this task increased my understanding of the issue at hand and the essence of having an organization like APA.

In the grand scheme of things, I credit my experience at APA for having rekindled my interest for the education sector. Looking ahead, I am sure that my experience at APA will go a long way in informing my career choices. It was a pleasure working with such a dedicated group of people in advancing the goals of the Grad Nation campaign.