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Gateway to College hosts 9th Annual Peer Learning Conference

July 19, 2013

Gateway to College  

St. Louis Community College’s Gateway to College program is hosting the ninth annual Peer Learning Conference July 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in St. Louis. This is the first time the national conference is being hosted in the Midwest region.

More than 300 advocates and students from 46 Gateway to College programs across the nation are expected to attend. Pathways to Sustainable Impact promises to be a dynamic and informative event with student panel discussions, workshops, round-table sessions and presentations.

“We are honored to host an event of this magnitude,” said Wendell Covington, STLCC's Gateway to College director. “We have overcome a lot of obstacles and are happy to share our expertise with other programs.”

Keynote speakers include Manny Scott and Dena Swanson.

Scott will share his story and several eye-opening insights of how, through hard work and with the help of others, he went from being an “unreachable” student to becoming a successful student, husband, father, entrepreneur, and public servant. His message aims to inspire people to become change agents who help others write new, more fulfilling chapters in their lives.

For many young adults, identity has been impacted by many years of negative school experiences and various life experiences. Swanson will address what is needed for students to move from a history of compromised opportunities to a renegotiated and sustainable identity as a learner, even with competing demands.

“This is good chance for us to meet people from other states. It gives us an opportunity to practice how to network and hopefully this experience will help prepare us for our careers,” said Anthony Gibbs, a student in STLCC's Gateway to College program.

Gateway to College has programs in 20 states. The program is designed for young adults ages 16 to 20 who have dropped out of high school or have one foot out the door. Through the program, students are able to complete their high school diploma requirements on a college campus while simultaneously earning credits toward a college degree or certificate. In addition to covering tuition costs, the program also pays for student fees and books.