Greatness is made one day at a time, Rising Scholars are told at annual leadership conference

 Story, photos, and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

When Gabe Doss was asked to be the keynote speaker at the Rising Scholars annual conference, he knew it was a no-brainer.

As a member of the Google Ann Arbor Community Affairs team with a direct focus on creating opportunities for K-12 students in STEM, Doss says the fit was perfect.

“Our partnership with AAPS is quite strong, and we’re looking for opportunities to target groups that are not represented,” said Goss, a marketing official for Google’s AdWords advertising platform. “The fact that this group exists give us the opportunity to zero in on some of their needs and provide as many resources and support as we possibly could.”

Goss said he hoped the 165 students would be encouraged to hear from someone who is only about 10 years older than they are and to understand that anything is possible for them.

 “They’re in a great position and hopefully they can continue to embody the name of their program, which is Rising Scholars,” he said.

Rising Scholars is a partnership between AAPS and the University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach that reaches out to underserved but high achieving students to decrease the achievement gap and prepare them for college.

AAPS alum Marcus Edmondson talked to the Rising Scholars about his experiences at Saginaw Valley State University.
“Leadership” was the theme of the all-day conference, which included the keynote address, group discussions, and lunch with 17 college students—many of whom are Rising Scholars alumni. The college students spoke with the Rising Scholars about the hurdles they faced transitioning to college and how the Rising Scholars program helped them overcome those obstacles and shared tools for success in college.
Throughout the day, the scholars rotated through three student-lead workshops focussed on identity, character, and education.
Pioneer High School senior Dea Chappell listens to a discussion about college life.

“My hope is that students walked away from the conference reminded that even when things are challenging, each one of them is exceptional beyond measure,” said Rising Scholars District Coordinator Joanna Johnson. “Their journey has just begun and their possibilities are endless. The day was about making sure these young people were reminded that greatness is made one day at a time and they are not alone in achieving their greatness.”

Joanna Johnson speaks to students at the Rising Scholars Annual Conference.


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