2018 EXPO Breakout Sessions – Recaps and Resources

Over 175 SSN members and friends convened at the third annual SSN Innovates: EXPO to celebrate successes and move to action. From elevating youth voice to leading organizational change, network members from nine organizations led breakout sessions and shared resources. The collective knowledge and experience of the presenters highlighted the power and potential of a network of passionate educators.

Leading Change through a DEI Lens

Alisa France
Senior Program Coordinator

AiLun Ku
President & COO

AiLun Ku and Alisa France shared Opportunity Network’s journey towards becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization. Providing youth and staff anecdotes, change management models, and introspective questions, they pushed participants to explore their own identities within their organization, displaying the need for internal individual work and relationship building in order to truly influence DEI change within an organization.

Improving Student Engagement and Retention

Zoe Smolen
College Access Program Manager

Katie Bonner
College Access Manager

Let’s Get Ready College Access Managers Zoe Smolen and Katie Bonner participated in the Explicit SEL Instruction – Growth Mindset collab this academic year. They tested two interventions — sending weekly SAT question challenges to admitted students before the start of programming to improve retention, and sharing attendance data weekly with Site Directors at check-ins to improve weekly attendance. They shared learnings from their experience and questions they’d like to investigate moving forward.

Building Improvement Cultures: Two Case Studies

ENACT presentation at the 2018 Expo
Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) is a member organization of the Student Success Network (SSN).

Joie Golomb
Programs Outreach & Engagement Manager, ENACT, Inc.

Altagracia Montilla
Community School Director, Center for Supportive Schools

Joie Golomb from ENACT shared ENACTs journey toward embracing a learning and improvement culture. Joie led participants through a trust building activity and provided space for participants to collaboratively identify challenges and co-create solutions to establishing an improvement culture within their respective organizations.

EHTP’s Racial Equity Statement: Garnering Input and Buy-In from Stakeholders

Dawan Julien
Managing Director, OST Programs

Susan Gonzowitz
Managing Director, Teacher Residency

East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) shared their continuing journey to becoming an anti-racist organization and a replicable process through which they created a Racial Equity Statement, a statement that was crucial to aligning EHTP staff around why they do the work they do and why they lead with race. Participants had the opportunity to think about what it might look like for their organization to begin a similar journey and gained tools to help them along the way.

An Organization’s Journey Toward Culturally Responsive Capacity-Building

Albert Kim
Deputy Director, Ramapo Training

Evelyn Alvarez
Trainer/Coach, Ramapo Training

Albert Kim and Evelyn Alvarez of Ramapo for Children shared their team’s journey towards confronting racial bias within their program and practice. They offered observations from the field, example survey questions, and concrete lessons learned on the path to long-term transformation of their organization’s culture.

Using Goal-Setting to Promote Positive Academic Behaviors and a Growth Mindset

Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF) is a member organization of the Student Success Network (SSN)

Krystal Melendez, Caroline Cooke
Good Shepherd Services

Krystal Bostick, Bill Mitchell

Good Shepherd and HEAF shared how they collaboratively used goal-setting to help their students improve their academic behaviors and growth mindsets. Good Shepherd shared their passport project, an activity that let students break down key milestones into small, manageable goals, and HEAF shared their academic behaviors pilot-course, a 6-week course that targeted explicit behaviors to support student growth.

So, You Want to Be Youth-Informed?

Morgan Little
Sadie Nash Leadership Project

Nariman Heikal

iMentor and Sadie Nash Leadership Project shared how they are elevating youth voice at their organizations. From boards to curriculum consultants, these organizations are tapping into the leadership of their youth for insight and direction.

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Ali Slack

Ali’s goal is to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement among SSN organizations and practitioners. She believes that those who work closest with youth hold a wealth of knowledge and experience, and thus is passionate about empowering practitioners to be the change makers their students need. Prior to joining SSN, she taught high school as a TFA Corps Member in Atlanta, GA, and later worked as a management consultant where she learned tools and strategies to lead improvement efforts.

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