Planning for the Future


The Grad Nation summit was explosive this year.  There were numerous amounts of positive contributions from the staff and the participants.  The planning committee for the pre-conference created positive icebreakers and discussion groups so the youth could get to know each other.  All of the youth were able to network with different leaders all across the country. This year's Summit promoted youth involvement in the activities and  growth and development during their life span. As I witnessed all the events that occurred during the Summit, I realized that many of our youth were impacting the statistics that were gathered and beginning to promote change. I spoke to many young people who showed signs of frustration with the school system they were involved with annually . Many of them suggested more guidance from teachers and counselors in the school system. Others felt they needed more opportunities for self expression so they can feel more connected to the learning environment. The topics that were discussed this year at the Grad Nation Summit helped expose more attributes that can be used in order to experience a more quality level of learning.

Visualizing  how children are groomed from  birth can certainly give insight on the type of learners they will become.  At an early a child's brain is programmed to absorb information at a fast pace.  Physicians at the Summit spoke about how a child's brain is just about fully developed by the time they reach 8 years old. Children at a young age began to distinguish the difference between right and wrong.  As a result, the evaluation of this information shows that people should began to nurture and teach their  children at a very young age. This will help decrease the amount of outside influences and distractions from society.  Education does not have any age limit or restriction on when the process can began. Therefore, it is up to the parents to teach a child what they feel is the right way of  thinking.  Children normally copy whoever they are associated with for an extended period of time. At the Grad Nation Summit,  physicians specifically keyed in on what can be done to enhance the process of early childhood development.

The youth also expressed the need for more equal learning opportunities.  We found that there is always a need for more minorities to be involved in leadership programs and outreach. This phenomenon is directly related to the reason why there is an insufficient amount of minorities who can compete on a national level.  As I spoke to the youth, they began to exploit how there are limited resources and moral support inside the school and at home;  and if there are resources they are not being exposed to them.  I began to realize, through multiple conversations with my peers, that there is a serious disconnection from the minorities in the school system and educators who teach them. Therefore,  there must be targeted ideas that arise on how we can increase the relationship between students and teachers.  This relationship will in turn create more eagerness for students to understand the meaning of education.

There have been no solutions for this disengagement. The only resolution so far is more statistics and ideas for change. We must continue the be committed and proactive in this process. A positive way we have been able to do this is more youth involvement programs such as the Grad Nation Summit. Youth from diverse groups across the country coming together for one specific cause have impacted the lives of many. There were  many youth who discussed how they would like to have a voice in this outreach; they only need something to help them spearhead the project . As I continue to focus in on underrepresented youth and the increase of graduate rates nationally to 90% by 2020, I will take this Grad Nation experience with me along the way as I evolve.