In June, All Our Kin’s Chief Operating Officer Erica Phillips, and Research, Evaluation and Data Specialist Ana Elisa Franco-Labarga had the honor of presenting at United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) 2017 Student Leadership Conference at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center in Washington, DC. This conference launches a cohort of over seventy exceptional undergraduate scholars into their summer internships in industries as diverse as health care, education and finance, preparing them to make the most of their summer experiences.
Erica and Ana Elisa were charged with leading a workshop on Critical Thinking, in which they presented approaches and tips for the scholars to use when asked to complete an ambitious project. The scholars were encouraged to look at these experiences as opportunities rather than obstacles and learned strategies for successful communication between supervisors and supervisees.
Presented with an approach to project-planning, these scholars engaged with a real-world example of a big question: To what city should All Our Kin expand?
All Our Kin had previously tackled this question of expansion from New Haven to Bridgeport, Stamford/Norwalk, and most recently to New York City. Scholars worked collaboratively to break down the question into approachable sections and create a plan for research and analysis. When presenting their work to the larger cohort, the scholars successfully identified every major question All Our Kin had posed when exploring options for expansion.
In addition to learning a new approach to tackling challenges, scholars learned about All Our Kin’s mission and work. For some scholars, this was their first interaction with a family child care network. Some shared memories of women serving their communities, caring for and educating young children. These scholars were excited about All Our Kin’s mission and eager to engage around the work.
Though they were asked to describe a research plan, not complete the research necessary to select a city, one scholar told us all the answer from the start: New York City. Just as they guessed, All Our Kin will be focusing on New York City, for now. We hope that some of these scholars will work with All Our Kin in the future, helping make our vision for growth a reality!
The young people selected to participate in the United Negro College Fund’s Student Leadership Conference left poised to turn their summer challenges into opportunities to shine. They now carry knowledge of the work of family child care providers to their internships and beyond.
United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. They provide student scholarships, financial support to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and serve as the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement.