GEAR UP Kentucky

2022 Institute for a College-Going Culture

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GEAR UP Kentucky Institute for a College-Going Culture

March 24, 2022 | 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Griffin Gate Marriott | 1800 Newtown Pike | Lexington, KY

COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us - particularly students and school staff, who have faced multiple challenges, including: navigating and implementing multiple modes of instruction (often frequently and rapidly); lack of resources; academic deficiencies and learning loss; decreased school attendance; lack of motivation and focus; socialization and mental health issues; and burnout and overwhelm.

The goal of the 2022 GEAR UP Kentucky Institute for a College-Going Culture: The Comeback from COVID is to provide motivation, tools, and strategies for educators to better engage the students they serve and to better engage themselves in self-care. 

NOTE: 4.5 hours of EILA credit will be provided to Institute participants.

Participants will:

  • Receive an 8-step blueprint on designing more engaging programming and lessons that students will enjoy;
  • Learn how to utilize and leverage activities, ice breakers and energizers to better engage students;
  • Receive a list of books and resources to assist in the development of more engaging programming;
  • Utilize tools and strategies to get students more involved in their schools and empower them to serve;
  • Receive a framework to help students take ownership of their campuses and communities;
  • Understand the importance self-care plays in the overall happiness in their lives and how that translates to their ability to continue to impact those whom they serve;
  • Refocus their purpose in their life and their profession; and
  • Utilize writing as a form of self-expression and self-care – and learn tips and tricks to get students to write more.

Every setback leads to a greater comeback ...
This will be the recurring theme of the thought-provoking and inspiring content being provided by the highly engaging CoolSpeak team, who will be leading both adult and student sessions and serving as plenary speakers at the Institute.

Institute Agenda for Educators
All sessions listed below are taking place in Grand Ballroom Salons.

8:30-9:30 a.m. Registration + Continental Breakfast
9:30-10:30 a.m. Welcome + Setting the Stage
- Kim Drummond Welch, Executive Director, GEAR UP Kentucky
- Dr. Aaron Thompson, President, Council on Postsecondary Education
- Carlos Ojeda, Jr., Founder, CoolSpeak
10:30-11:30 a.m. Mission Impossible: Student Programming During a Pandemic
Presenter: Carlos Ojeda, Jr. | Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to plan programming that students will want to attend and that inspires them to overcome all obstacles – even a global pandemic. In this session, we will explore how to plan, prepare, market and execute face-to-face programming (with virtual contingencies) that can bring your students together and provide unforgettable and transformative experiences. In this fun, interactive  workshop, participants will discover techniques and activities that they can use to promote resilience and educational success. This description will self-destruct in 5 ... 4 ...
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lunch + Plenary Speaker Zach Gowen
This former WWE Superstar lost his leg to cancer at age 8 and his dad at a young age. On the heels of a successful career with the WWE, Gowen nearly lost his life to drugs. Gowen will share his personal story, relaying the importance of resilience and grit and conveying that persistence beats resistance every time.
1:00-1:55 p.m. WOW: Empowering Students to Do Amazing Things In Your Schools
Presenter: Chris Collins | This session is designed to equip educators with tools to empower their students to do amazing things in their schools. Amazing is not a random superlative; in this session, it is defined as W.O.W. Goals. W.O.W. Goals are “Way Outta this Word Goals,” or big goals that make big impacts. Educators will leave this session with a framework to help their students ask the right questions to get answers that will create positive change in their lives and for the school(s) and commuity. These simple tools will help you unlock your students’ potential so that they can self-discover ways to elevate their game. 
2:00-2:55 p.m.

Connecting the Dots
Presenter: Natasha "Natty" Carrizosa | We lost the essence of who we are when we rely on other influences to shape us. These influences can be life experiences, the past, labels, images on social media, a pandemic, and beyond. Who am I? What is my purpose? Why does it matter? We have more in common with our children than we know. As parents and educators, we are their biggest influencers. We have the power to help and heal – them and us. We can write and create our own narratives by connecting the dots. 

3:00-3:30 p.m.

Closing Keynote Speaker Chris Collins: We Are Stormbreakers + Snacks
The day will wrap up with the message that the power is within all of us – and that together, we can can overcome our challenges – even a pandemic.