You may or may not have seen my social media recap of the first ATLCollegeSigningDay. It happened Friday, April 27, 2018 at Cristo Rey Atlanta where we celebrated their 125+ college-bound seniors! To be clear, this group represents the full class (that’s 100%) that has been accepted into a college or university. In addition, the Class of 2018 is Cristo Rey Atlanta’s first graduating class. That’s a lot of factors that make it even more exciting that they chose to participate in and host the first #ATLCollegeSigningDay at their school.
My relationship with the school began through my day job. The organization where I work is a corporate work study partner. Annually we sponsor a team of four students to subsidize tuition for their educatioin. Over the last three years, I have worked with 12 students around our senior living community. And, we are so excited to cheer on six of our students in this first graduating class. Go Class of 2018!
But back to ATLCollegeSigningDay. ATLCollegeSigningDay is a vision I have to bring together all of metro-Atlanta to celebrate our college-bound seniors. The vision is to grow the event so large that we attract former First Lady Michelle Obama here to celebrate with us, in addition to previous city events she has attended. And kicking off this year as successfully as we did gets us off to a great start!
So, I want to thank the people that helped push me to make my vision a reality.
Elisa Buckner: I was introduced to Elisa by Cynthia Wassenar. When I sent out my initial communication to my network informing them of my intent to produce this event, Cynthia immediately put me in contact with the right people at Cristo Rey. But, getting in contact was only the begininning. Committing to work through the logistics of identifying a venue and using her network to ensure we had students, families and supoorters in attendance was the gift that Elisa gave me. This meant the world to me because I am not networked into Atlanta are schools. And that’s the only wa this was going to happen. I needed someone in the know. Elisa came through. She was a committed partner through and through.
Elisa, words can not express my heartfelt thanks to you for supporting my vision! I look forward to growing it with you.
Cynthia Wassenar: My cheerleader. Some people just know how to make you feel that all things are possible. And Cynthia is the woman that did that for me. She saw my passion. She believed my heart was behind the vision. So she did everything in her power to connect me and cheer me on.
Thank you Cynthia. I’m so glad to have you as a part of my vision encouragement circle!
Kelly Smith: My former coworker and forever friend! This woman has been in my corner for years! So, when I dropped a notice on Facebook about the event and asked for sponsors to donate swag to gve to the kids, she hit my in my DM and let me know she would donate. And even when we were down to the wire and no one else had come through with swag donations, Kelly reached out to me know that Google in Education was sending me a little something to hand out to the kids.
Thanks Kells for always having my back!
Cristo Rey Principal Diane Bush and the her wonderful faculty and staff: With all that this wonderful school has going on, it was truly a gift that they jumped on board to host the event at their school and fully support it. Principal Bush believed in the significance of celebrating the students college-bound achievement so much so that she allowed the students, for the first time, to be out of uniform to represent in their college or university gear.
Cristo Rey team, y’all are the best!
Congratulations to the Class of 2018, parents and supporters! This is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes us all. Oh the places we will go! I’m ready. Atlanta, are you?
Check out below what I had to say to the students, educators and nsupporters on this momentous occasion. Then, head on over to Instagram to see the other fun captured thoughout the day!
One more thing. I’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in supporting us in any way as we begin work on 2019 TLCollegeSigningDay.
Reach out to me at 404–482–3573 or firstname.lastname@example.org