Plenary Sessions

(All Listed Session Times are Central Standard Time)

Tuesday, February 14
4:15 – 5:45 PM CST
Opening Plenary Session: Community Colleges as Drivers of Economic and Social Mobility
Community colleges are integral to social and economic mobility for learners across their communities. Our opening session will examine the intersections between social capital, upward mobility, and education. Keynote speaker, Dr. Raj Chetty, will highlight how education is viewed as one of the most scalable pathways to upward mobility and will share how colleges help shape income mobility in the U.S. 

Dr. Karen A. Stout, 
President & CEO, Achieving the Dream and Dr. Raj Chetty, William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics at Harvard University, will officially kick off DREAM 2023.

Dr. Raj Chetty is also the Director of Opportunity Insights, which focuses on identifying barriers to economic opportunity and developing scalable solutions to help people rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes. Dr. Chetty’s most recent work has focused on the effects of social connectedness on economic mobility. He has been widely cited in the media including the New York Times, Forbes, the Washington Post and several higher education media outlets. A MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship awardee, Dr. Chetty has received numerous awards for his research, including the John Bates Clark medal, given to the economist under 40 whose work is judged to have made the most significant contribution to the field.

Dr. Karen A. Stout
Dr. Raj Chetty 

Wednesday, February 16
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM CST
Plenary Session: Advancing Equity in Opportunity and Outcomes: Centering the Cultural Assets of Racially Minoritized Students  
As we work with urgency to advance equity in student opportunity and student outcomes, we must strive to amplify the inherent value racially diverse experiences bring to our classrooms, colleges, and communities. Puerto Rican writer, performer and educator, Noel Quiñones, will share his poetry and prose, integrating the interdependencies of art, community, education, and service. Then, a panel of leaders will explore how and why institutions of learning can leverage students’ racial and ethnic identities to deepen their learning and support to ensure equitable outcomes.

Noel Quiñones, Emmy Award-winning poet, writer, performer, and educator and Dr. Paul Hernandez, Author, The Pedagogy of Real Talk, and Special Assistant to the President and CEO, Achieving the Dream, will moderate. Panelists include:  Dr. Pam Eddinger, President, Bunker Hill Community College, Achieving the Dream Board member; Dr. Antonio Banks, Director, Black and Male Students of Color, Compton College; Dr. Chris Reber, President, Hudson County Community College; and Karen Colbert, General Education Faculty Chair and Lead Math and STEM Faculty, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

As the population of the United States continues to diversify, the inherent value racially diverse experiences bring to our colleges and communities must be elevated. Puerto Rican writer, performer and educator, Noel Quiñones, will share his poetry and prose, integrating the interdependencies of art, community, education, and service. 

Mr. Quiñones is an Emmy award winning Puerto Rican writer, actor, educator, and community organizer from the Bronx. He is the founder of Project X, a Bronx-based arts organization, a 40 Under 40 Rising Latino Stars Recipient, and a member of the 2019 Intercultural Leadership Institute cohort.

Noel Quiñones
Dr. Paul Hernandez
Dr. Pam Eddinger
Dr. Antonio Banks
Dr. Chris Reber Karen Colbert

Thursday, February 16 
8:30 AM – 9:45 AM CST   
Plenary Session: Equitable Postsecondary Outcomes: Bridging the Gap Between Community, Education, and the Workforce
As our nation’s economic and labor market demands continuously evolve, greater alignment across K–12, higher education, and the local workforce is needed to support community vitality. This session will dive into cross-sector discussions on how community colleges can:

  • Build deeper partnerships throughout the community to expanded access, success, and mobility
  • Respond to industry indicators in building career pathways for today’s students 
  • Prepare adult learners and traditional-aged students in critical 21st century skills leading to gainful employment 

Dr. Karen A. Stout, President & CEO, Achieving the Dream 
Paul Fain, Journalist, Author of The Job newsletter, and Former Editor at Inside Higher Education 
Shalin Jyotishi, Senior Policy Analyst, Center on Education & Labor, New America; Fellow, World Economic Forum 
Dr. Sunita Cooke, President, MiraCosta College 
Dr. Nancee Sorenson, Chancellor, Louisiana State University, Eunice  
Dr. David T. Harrison, President, Columbus State Community College  

Paul Fain
Shalin Jyotishi
Dr. Sunita Cooke Nancee Sorenson
David T. Harrison 

Friday, February 17
8:30 – 10:30 AM CST  
Closing Plenary Session: Student Perspectives on Expanding Access, Success, and Mobility  
Community advocate, Frederick Shegog, Founder of The Message, will share his journey overcoming homelessness and addiction to his life’s work and calling on empowering others to claim their legacy. During the closing plenary, hear from current and former DREAM Scholars as they share how reimagining success has shaped their lives.  

Keynote: Frederick Shegog, Founder, The Message LLC  
Dr. Karen A. Stout, President & CEO, Achieving the Dream 
Dr. Monica Parrish Trent, Chief Program & Network Officer, Achieving the Dream  

DREAM Scholars Update
Estefany Palencia, 2021 DREAM Scholar  
Pedro Moranchei, 2021 DREAM Scholar  

DREAM Scholars Panel

  • Panel Moderator: Dr. Joye Hardiman, Executive Director, Ancestral Art Works and Professor Emeritus, Arts & Humanities, The Evergreen State College
  • Tommy McCall, Student, Tallahassee Community College and 2023 DREAM Scholar 
  • Tena Quakenbush, Student, Western Technical College and 2023 DREAM Scholar 
  • Luis De Luna, Student, MiraCosta College and 2023 DREAM Scholar
  • Zack Arreola, Student, Laney College and 2023 DREAM Scholar  
  • Nikki Tam, Student, Kingsborough Community College and 2023 DREAM Scholar 
  • Eve Miclaus, Student, Roane State Community College and 2023 DREAM Scholar 
  • Vitória Nogueira, Student, Housatonic Community College and 2023 DREAM Scholar 
  • Sareya Taylor, Student, Institute of American Indian Arts and 2023 DREAM Scholar 

Frederick Shegog, Founder/CEO of The Message LLC, inspires, educates, and creates healthy lifestyles for all as a motivational speaker. Dumpster diving, panhandling, and drinking were once everyday activities for Shegog. Despite a decade of alcohol abuse and time spent homeless, Shegog transformed himself into a graduate with high honors.

As a motivational speaker, he is on a mission to help others combat substance use disorder and mental health. Experienced in creating and facilitating workshops to address the community's needs in collegiate recovery, substance use disorders, and mental health, he is changing how colleges serve/educate students in recovery and dealing with mental illness.

Frederick Shegog

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