Event Name

Modesto GradNation Community Summit

Event Details

Keynote Speakers: Jeremy Bates, Flip Rodriguez, Blair Rusin

Featured Session: Presentation by “the Hope Dealer,” Jeremy Bates, who will entertain and inspire students down the path to success, while speaking to the importance of education. Flip Rodriguez is a Hollywood stuntman and popular competitor on the American Ninja Warrior series. Flip will share his personal story of overcoming abuse and describe how he is making his future brighter than his past. Blair Rusin will be on stage with Jeremy incorporating his message of hope and perseverance, while leveraging his artistic talents.

Community Information

This summit will center around America’s Promise Alliance’s promise of an Effective Education. We aim to convey the importance of an effective education to achieving one’s occupational goals. Related to this, we acknowledge that youth face hardships that may deter them from setting goals or cause them to stop pursing their goals. This is a reality of many of our youth and we want to speak to this, while still conveying the continued importance of education.

Our speaker, Jeremy Bates, will lead this messaging. He integrates activities in his presentation that will illustrate that having an effective education is important and achievable through perseverance and with the support of caring adults. We are also integrating America’s Promise Alliance’s promise of Caring Adults into this summit by inviting community leaders to connect with youth. Community leaders will represent a variety of occupations, and some were selected to attend by the youth in our Grad Coach program. Leaders will receive instructions from Jeremy to guide their interactions with youth, allowing them to to be a resource and inspiration, while acting as an advisor and demonstrating support.

Two key challenges we face in Modesto are cultivating the importance of education amongst individuals and families with low-incomes and linking these families to Modesto’s resources. Believe it or not, there are pockets of our community that have never been to our local mall, let alone the local colleges! There are students who have never thought that college or trade school was an option, not only for financial reasons but because of family cultures that don’t communicate the value of an education. This is the community challenge we will be addressing.

Youth will be asked to take the name and contact information of leaders they speak with so they can keep in contact after the event. Grad Coaches will continue to work with their students and reinforce the importance of an effective education well after the event concludes. Specifically, Grad Coaches will connect with their students about their aspirations and continue to be caring adults who provide support and guidance.

We will also continue to partner with organizations to cultivate a community that supports our youth. For example, we are in the process of establishing a partnership with another organization that provides mentors to youth in schools. We have also discussed partnering with our local colleges to link our youth with financial aid information. We are also contributing to the development of a countywide initiative that focuses on supporting youth in their education – cradle to career.