When working to find solutions to promote economic recovery, whom would you invite to the table? Maybe a former President of the United States? Or CEO of some of America’s most successful Fortune 500 companies? Perhaps even a philanthropic celebrity? And of course, stakeholders in the Academies of Nashville.
Academies of Nashville Director, Chaney Mosley, PENCIL Foundation Executive Director, Connie Williams, and CMT Senior Director of Public Affairs, Lucia Folk, were invited to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative this week in Chicago, Ill. The Clinton Global Initiative is an annual meeting that brings together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.
“Coming together with professionals from around the country with a common goal of creating opportunities for disconnected youth to be successful in college and careers has been empowering. The structure of the Clinton Global Initiative provided a platform to have focused conversations and share strategies that are benefiting the most vulnerable groups of young people,” said Mosley. “From sharing our practices in the Academies of Nashville, our work was affirmed as an effective strategy; however, we know that there is more work to be done and we cannot slow down. From participating in the CGI, I am more aware now than ever before of the intensity with which we must focus on creating pipelines for our students to successfully transition from middle school to high school and from there to college and careers.”
The United States places 31st in overall education performance among OECD nations, but ranks first when it comes to excluding schools with highly impoverished student populations. Strengthening local support systems and using community partnerships to increase innovation in low-incoming communities has been proven to foster academic success and improve student performance.
“We had a chance to talk with and hear ideas from people across the country who are working creatively and effectively with children and youth,” said Williams. “There were wonderful ideas that we can build on here in Nashville and I know we will. It was inspiring to see how well our academy and business engagement model measures up to initiatives in other cities. We have so much to be proud of here in Nashville!”
The Academies of Nashville presentation was one of the only groups at the Clinton Global Initiative representing a public school district, the business community, and a non-profit organization who work collaboratively.
“I was honored to have the opportunity to present about the Academies of Nashville at CGI America,” said Folk. “It was a wonderful platform to showcase the incredible partnership between the business community and MNPS and how that is positively impacting students.”