Starting Friday June 1, Mobilize.org is bringing together close to 100 community college students from across South Florida to discuss the challenges they face in completing their degrees.
During the three-day summit, the organization’s first in Florida, college students will work collaboratively to propose ways to increase the number of people finishing school.
On the third day of the summit, students will compete to win a share of $25,000 to implement the most innovative of their solutions. Winners also participate in a 12-month fellowship and skill-building curriculum intended to help them successfully implement their projects.
The Target 2020 summit is supported by Knight Foundation, as part of its efforts to expand Mobilize.org’s model of millennial-led engagement in five communities: Detroit, San Jose, Miami, Charlotte and Philadelphia.
At the summit, Sen. Bob Graham and other local leaders will release the Miami Millennial Civic Health Report. The report found that Miami’s residents ages 18-30 ranked lower than their counterparts across the state and nation on issues related to civic health like volunteering and voting. The report also shows that young adults without any college experience were particularly cut off from civic life.
The weekend summit will be webcast live. To join the conversation on Twitter, follow @mob_org and use the hashtag #T2020.
Over the weekend, The Miami Herald wrote an editorial titled “Clearer path to a degree,” which focused Mobilize.org’s programmatic method and its partners goals:
“...this diverse, idealistic and tech-savvy group is being brought together to come up with solutions, the best of which will receive funding to make them a reality and put them to work....Best of all, there will be a beneficial ripple effect, as winning solutions make academic life easier for the students following in the footsteps of the summit participants, meaning a stronger future for South Floridians.”
Mobilize.org’s CEO Maya Enista Smith said she is excited to bring its engagement efforts to Miami:
"We're particularly looking forward to empowering and investing in the city's Millennials to create and implement solutions to the challenge they face around community college completion. By bringing together community college students with civic leaders, administrative officials and faculty, Mobilize.org will provide them with the tools and resources they need to better face those challenges."
Knight’s Miami Program Director Matt Haggman and its National Program Director Damian Thorman will both address the students. Thorman, who kicks off the summit’s award competition on Sunday morning, will highlight how the competition is an opportunity for students to share their innovative work and the potential for these projects to transform their campuses and their communities. He’ll also encourage the participants to use the civic dialogue process as a way to share their voice and collaborate with their peers.
Other scheduled speakers include: Dr. Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Dr. Lenore Rodicio, Miami Dade College, Isa Adney, the author of Community College Success and Dr. Martha J. Kanter, under secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
To read more about Mobilize.org’s programming model and where the future of the Millennial engagement field is heading, read this Knight Q&A with Smith.
Target 2020 Florida Summit partners include AmeriCorps Alums, Catalyst Miami, College Summit, HandsOn Broward, Miami Dade College Center for Community Involvement and Public Allies Miami. Its national partners include Knight Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education.