Edgewood College will host the Second Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Readiness & Success Summit this Saturday, Jan. 12, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
“We have a great keynote who is new this year. Joe Maldonado from the United Way will serve as our keynote,” Derek Johnson, executive director of undergraduate admissions at Edgewood College and organizer of the event, tells Madison365. Maldonado is the director of community impact for academic success at United Way of Dane County where he oversees funding to community-based organizations that serve young people in Dane County.
In addition, The summit’s festivities include professional headshots, a workshop on the college search and financial aid process, a student panel during lunch, three breakout sessions and a raffle. Edgewood College partnered with The College Station, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Madison Alumni Chapter, and the Urban League of Greater Madison to make the summit a worthwhile event for both students preparing for college as well as their families.
“Last year was a huge success we had over 75 families and ten breakout sessions,” Johnson said.
He said students were able to navigate the process of applying for college together while parents were given resources about how to afford college from professional counselors. Johnson, who had the idea for the summit, said he worked on the event for several years before it became a reality networking with other community organizations.
“Those partnerships really allowed us to expand our reach and expand our resources as well,” he said.
Each person invited to lead a workshop at the College Readiness & Success Summit brings their expertise and experience working within the area they are facilitating. Johnson said he wanted to provide students and their families with tangible resources and connections.
“The goal behind this is to equip them early. The reality is that this only one day,” he said.
Throughout the day-long event, students will think about strategies to develop their financial literacy, study skills and time management to prepare them for college. Also, the student panel will feature all current college students who can speak candidly about their university experiences.
“A lot of families are overwhelmed and I guess confused about how this process and we really just want to be a resource for folks come asking questions,” Johnson said.
He said this event is an opportunity for students and families to find resources to help them alleviate some of the stresses of applying to colleges. Johnson said he hopes families take the time to register and attend.
“We just really want to bring the community together to help our young people access their education dreams,” he said.
For Johnson, the work of preparing high school students of color, first-generation students and their families for college resonates with his lived experience. The idea for the summit came from a passionate place as both an educator and someone who once filled the shoes of those who come to the summit.
“For me this comes from both a personal and professional place, being a student of color, first-generation, and being low income- being all the things society deems would not make it,” Johnson said.
He said this event is a way to bridge the gap between community organizations, historically disadvantaged students and higher education. The 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Readiness & Success Summit will take place Saturday, Jan. 12 in the Predolin Humanities Center of Edgewood College. Check-in begins at 10:15 a.m.