SCC Event Fosters Youth Success


Southeastern Community College (SCC) hosted the Be Your Own Hero Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP) Mini-Conference on Saturday, March 3 at its West Burlington campus. Young House Family Services served as the co-host.

The mini-conference was designed to empower youth and help them prepare for their future.
Jan Shelman, Program Director of Family Based Services at Young House, noted that a majority of the participants consisted of would-be first generation college students. Her hope was that the kids would realize that college was an option for them.

The day started with a welcome address during which SCC President Dr. Michael Ash shared his journey. The son of parents who could not pursue their education beyond eighth grade, Dr. Ash presented his experience as a first generation college student who took control of his future and made an education his priority, culminating in his earning a doctorate degree.

Although Shelman said that the entire day was a success, she felt that Dr. Ash's speech was a highlight.

"His story was one of hope," Shelman said. "And the youth were able to hear, 'You can do this.'"

After taking in engaging presentations, the teens participated in activities intended to help them build communication, time management, and creative thinking skills. The day ended with an interactive tour of the school that introduced participants to higher education.

Shelman noted that the participants enjoyed the activities. They left the event feeling more empowered and armed with tools to dictate how to control their futures than when the day began.

AMP is a statewide group with the goal of showing youth in Iowa's foster care system their full potential for personal growth. Just over 50 teenagers participated in the daylong conference.

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