Essex, NY —Two Adirondack educators played a key role at the annual CFES (College For Every Student) National Conference in Albany, NY. The two-day event brought together 400 educators, Scholars, community and corporate leaders from 24 states, representing 200 schools and 50 colleges.
Peru High School Principal Christopher Mazzella spoke of his commitment to cultivate student leaders. Each spring, Peru High School hosts a daylong gathering of student leaders from all over the Adirondacks. Mazella said this event has been “well received by students” who plan, prepare and present workshops to fill out the day. He encouraged colleagues to use the CFES practice of “Leadership Through Service” to create programs, resources, and activities that allow Scholars to forge a pathway to college.
The conference was rounded out by students (grade 7 through 12) from rural and urban schools, where college attendance is becoming the norm under the influence of educators, their college partners, and the CFES programs that unite them.
Willsboro Superintendent Stephen Broadwell spoke at the session “The Power of Volunteers,” where he encouraged schools to engage their communities. “Our mentors have provided an outside perspective and insight to our students regarding goals, collegechoices, and careers,” said Broadwell. Willsboro Central School has 30 community leaders who mentor 11th and 12th grade students each month. “The community mentoring program has been a tremendous success for our school,” Broadwell added, “and I would recommend it to schools nationwide.”
When Five-Time NBA MVP Bill Russell addressed the gathering, he emphasized the power of mentoring, one of three core practices of CFES. “There is no such thing as someone else’s child,” he stressed. “Each of us is responsible for the youth of our future.” It’s an idea not foreign to conference attendees, who through their efforts in their own school communities demonstrate their commitment to CFES’s mission to put low-income youth on the path to college access and success.
In his opening remarks, President & CEO Rick Dalton recognized the Adirondack K-16 educators, students and mentor community, who collaboratively are giving students the resources and confidence they need to be successful in college.
CFES is a nonprofit organization based in Essex, NY, that helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college. Currently, CFES works with 200 schools in 24 states to help its 20,000 students move toward college success. Over the last six years, 96 percent of CFES high school seniors have gone on to college. (www.collegefes.org)