Enthusiasm is high from those who participated in the regional summits.
Donte Martin, a student participant from Pennsylvania, said the
experience created a family-like atmosphere on his REP4 team.
“We didn’t know each other, and we came together to create something
beautiful,” Martin said. “We’re here to make change, to speak up, so
we can be heard for generations to come.”
The adult leads who worked with the high school students agree the
REP4 experience will continue to benefit students, educators and the
future of higher education.
“REP4 has been an amazing experience allowing students to find and
solve problems in a real-world and innovative way,” said Dominique
Brown, from Battle Creek Central High School in Michigan. “As a
teacher in special education, it gave me pride in the hard-work and
passion my students put into the summit, and it gave me a new
confidence in leading students towards a better and more inclusive future.”
Tomee Call from Mountain High in Kaysville, Utah, led a student
cohort through the process at a regional summit and said she was moved
by how powerful the REP4 experience is.
“Students are working together learning lifelong skills,” Call said.
“They are learning to think deeply, analyze, problem solve,
collaborate, reach goals, support, listen and communicate in new ways.
This is a true teamwork and leadership experience! I have seen
students light up with excitement as they tackle real problems and
produce legitimate solutions. As an educator, this is invigorating to
me, and it is exactly what I want for my students -- an amazing
opportunity to come together from all over the nation and work toward
solutions that will benefit education, society and our futures.”
Maaike Muddle, a youth impact coordinator from the Muskegon
Intermediate School District in Michigan, called the learning
"Rep4 has engaged students every step of the way in the
liberatory design process,” Muddle said. “As an adult leader, I have
felt empowered to coach my cohort to shape innovative ideas for equity
Mei Mah, associate director of GVSU's Center for Educational
Partnerships, worked with Marlene Kowalski-Braun, GVSU associate vice
president for Inclusion and Student Support, as co-leads for the
Midwest REP4 summit. Mah said that the six summits across the nation
were full of creativity and a dedication to equity and inclusion.
"While all unique, each regional summit sparked the minds of
learners, leaders and experts to think about the challenges students
confront in college," Mah said. "Acknowledging and valuing
each of these diverse voices is the launching pad for innovation and
transformation in higher education."
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