On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Roads to Success welcomed over 150 youth to our virtual college and careers summit, Together We Rise. Volunteer panelists included current college students from institutions such as Hunter College, Pace University, SUNY New Paltz, as well as professionals from numerous industries including entertainment, business, healthcare, sports and more. Special guest speakers Alex Nieves, US Foreign Service Officer, and Latchmi Gopal, NY City Council candidate, introduced participants to their respective careers and their reasons for pursuing those pathways.
Attendees and speakers were divided into smaller groups where they could interact more intimately with each other and speakers may easily answer any questions from youth. Although college and career was on the agenda, the bigger talking point was how the speakers persevered through challenges, disappointments, and ongoing self discovery before achieving their own successes. The afternoon ultimately lead to inspiring and uplifting conversations full of encouragement and first-hand experience advice, and invaluable connections with members of their own community eager to help.
Events such as Together We Rise provide an important resource that young people in our communities lack access to - networking. For many, their networks can be limited for any number of reasons. By providing these opportunities to connect them to role models and mentors from the community, it opens up a platform where they can ask direct questions, learn from different backgrounds and perspectives, and build relationships with those who are of mind and heart to help and who can lead to new opportunities.
Many thanks to all of the young people and volunteers who attended and contributed to such a positive and inspiring afternoon of community and leadership. Our next event will be held on June 3rd for our annual Youth Leadership Summit. If you are interested in volunteering as a speaker and connecting with youth, or sponsoring an upcoming event, please contact Kachina Respress-Pierce, Director of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.