On Thursday, April 11, the Gifted Education Foundation hosted its first "Think Tank" Luncheon at the Commerce Club in Midtown Atlanta, where 19 business leaders and prominent education professionals gathered to discuss the future of low-income students.
Luncheon attendees offered their professional expertise in identifying barriers that prevent low-income students from achieving success in college, and formed a plan of action for eliminating those barriers. According to the U.S. Department of Education, among first-time college students, only 39% of black students and 50% of Latino students graduate within six years. (National Center for Education Statistics 2012, The Condition of Education 2011)
"The Gifted Think Tank was a gathering of some of the most powerful minds in the U.S. for the sake of setting up an ongoing dialogical framework relative to the impediments and success factors of college graduation among low-income students across America," said Gifted Founder Anthony Flynn. "It was fantastic to gather such remarkable takeaways from such a mixed demographic of individuals originating from various ethnic, socioeconomic, educational and professional backgrounds."
Among the event's attendees were:
•On Point CEO Lesley Scearce
•Clinical Psychologist Dr. Alduan Tartt of TV One's Love Addiction
•Representatives from Georgia Power, Harvard University and Teach for America
The "Think Tank" Luncheon will play a vital part in Gifted's mission to produce first generation college graduates and marketplace leaders from low-income communities. Each person who attended this first luncheon made a personal commitment to support the organization through mentoring students, volunteering professional services, and/or donating funds. The Gifted Foundation plans to host another luncheon before the end of the year.