America's Promise GradNation Summit

Over 100 regional college and university leaders, community services providers, high school counselors and students gathered for the America's Promise GradNation Summit, held in September 2015 at the Orlando Museum of Art.

The Central Florida College Access Network and Heart of Florida United Way hosted the summit, with the goal to increase knowledge of student barriers, and develop solutions to increase students’ access, persistence, and attainment of postsecondary degrees and high quality credentials needed for the 21st Century workforce. The summit highlighted the non-academic challenges facing first-generation students from low-income backgrounds, providing local data, a moderated student panel, and breakout sessions to better equip community leaders to overcome hurdles for students.

The GradNation Summit concluded with a powerful call to action for community leaders to work together on aligned community goals and next steps. 

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Destination Graduation: Building a 21st Century Workforce

Rick Weddle, President, Orlando Economic Development Commission

In September 2015, the Central Florida College Access Network and Heart of Florida United Way hosted Destination Graduation: Building a 21st Century Workforce, a convening to discuss how to develop a workforce that will meet the demands of the evolving Central Florida economy.

Over 140 business leaders and elected officials were gathered to develop solutions and strategies to close the gap and drive postsecondary attainment in the region – and reach Goal 2025. Speakers included Congressman Daniel Webster, SunTrust Foundation President David Fuller, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Diana Bolivar, and Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna.

Through presentations by Rick Weddle, president of the Orlando Economic Development Commission and Troy Miller, associate director for research & policy with the Florida College Access Network, as well as testimony from recent graduates moderated by Braulio Colon, Vice President and Program Director for Postsecondary Completion at Helios Education Foundation, the event  made a profound impact on attainment and workforce success in Central Florida.


Going2College Text Alerts

The Heart of Florida United Way's Going2College  program, as an initiative of the Central Florida College Access Network, has opened subscriptions for the 2015-2016 school year. Going2College is automated text messaging campaign to remind students (and/or parents and mentors) of required college-related tasks. This tool is used to support student and enhance community-based programs so that students can meet deadlines, identify resources, and complete tasks necessary to matriculate to college. For information on how to opt-in to the current messaging series, visit our page here. 

YMCA Teen Achievers use the Going2College text message alerts to stay on track during the college application season.

YMCA Teen Achievers use the Going2College text message alerts to stay on track during the college application season.