Over 120 community leaders from education, business, government, and nonprofit sectors gathered virtually on September 16-17 for the fifth annual Toward a Shared Vision convening presented by Growing Inland Achievement (GIA).

Event participants worked together in sessions and workshops to discuss collaborative solutions for increasing equitable educational attainment in the Inland Empire and shared positive feedback about the convening. “My world has just opened up thinking about all of the moving parts in education equity and overall cradle-to-career work being accomplished and in the works,” said one attendee. Another participant shared their appreciation for the opportunity to come together and learn more about regional initiatives and available support. “I appreciated learning about all the regional initiatives taking place and how they are supported and fused by the vision and mission of GIA.”

In his opening remarks, GIA’s President & CEO, Dr. Carlos Ayala, emphasized the need to continue working together as a united bi-county region to improve educational outcomes, which in turn will fuel regional economic growth.

Dr. Carlos Ayala makes opening remarks at Toward a Shared Vision, 2021

During the event, participants worked together in sessions and workshops to discuss collaborative solutions for increasing equitable educational attainment in the Inland Empire. “My world has just opened up thinking about all of the moving parts in education equity and overall cradle-to-career work being accomplished and in the works,” said one attendee. Another participant shared their appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about regional initiatives and available support. “I appreciated learning about all the regional initiatives taking place and how they are supported and fused by the vision and mission of GIA.”

Throughout the two-day event, participants heard from keynote speakers including Leona Christy, CEO at Catalyst:Ed [Video], Tessa Carmen De Roy, President at California College Guidance Initiative [Video], and Connie Leyva, California State Senator-20th District with Catalina Cifuentes of the Riverside Office of Education  [Video]. In another session, GIA’s Governing Board Members shared guidance and examples of how a collective impact approach is a key to transformation in the Inland Empire.

Additional breakouts focused on introducing new tools and resources, such as a new equity continuum tool and College App platform to support regional institutions with equity, access, and student success. Time was also set aside for speed networking and to hear from several Inland Empire students who shared their hopes and fears for the coming year.

A focal point of the convening was to highlight the work of regional Action Network Teams, also known as ANTs, and the efforts of those teams to improve educational equity and economic opportunity for historically marginalized populations in the Inland Empire. GIA supports five different ANTs who meet monthly throughout the year, with broad representation from all educational segments. The ANTs are categorized into the following focus areas, each with its own tactical plan. You can learn more about the ANTs by clicking the links below.

  1. Equity
  2. Avising and Transfer
  3. College and Career Readiness
  4. Financial Aid
  5. Returning Adults and Professional Education

“Toward a Shared Vision brings us together and reminds us of the important work being done to support student success in our region,” said Ann Marie Sakrekoff, Chief Operations Officer at GIA. “We want to thank all of the presenters, speakers, and everyone in attendance who inspired us to continue to marching arm-in-arm towards achieving equitable, student-ready institutions in the Inland Empire.”

By researching, resourcing, and connecting educational institutions, nonprofits, and businesses in the Inland Empire, GIA has helped facilitate regional alignment to increase college preparedness, certificate and degree attainment, and career readiness. Learn more by visiting our website at https://inlandempiregia.org.

Recordings of all event sessions will be available soon to watch online through GIA’s website and YouTube Page.

By researching, resourcing, and connecting educational institutions, nonprofits, and businesses in the Inland Empire, GIA has helped facilitate regional alignment to increase college preparedness, certificate and degree attainment, and career readiness. Learn more by visiting their website at https://inlandempiregia.org.

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GIA is a regional collective impact organization aimed at increasing postsecondary credential attainment, adding more qualified people to the workforce, and contributing to a thriving economy. GIA brings together leaders across K-20 education, civic, and business sectors to work together through a collective impact approach to achieve and scale educational and economic success. Several grants have helped GIA carry out their work, including support from a Governors Innovation Award, the College Futures Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn more at https://inlandempiregia.org.

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