AC leader to join virtual conversation with White House panel

State & Regional

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — An Amarillo College leader is set to join four other panelist, who will share their knowledge, during the “Conversation with the White House with Colleges and Universities” at 4:00 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, Oct. 21, according to a press release by Amarillo College (AC).

Cara Crowley, AC’s vice president of strategic initiatives will participate in the conversation by Zoom, “to better inform the executive branch of the U.S. government about the burgeoning impact of poverty on college students, and to explore solutions,” the release detailed.

According to AC, the event is present by Bread for the world, which is a non-partisan, Christian advocacy organization that aims to end hunger, and in association with the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

“At Amarillo College we’ve learned that when you help people by addressing their basic needs, they stay in school and achieve their goals,” said Crowley, who believes she was invited to participate in the discussion for multiple reasons, but two in particular.

In addition, AC was named a 2021 Top Five insititution and received Rising Star recognition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, while Crowley recently voiced her opinion in a “Chronicle of Higher Education” article. According to AC, the article detailed “how AC not only prioritized the collection of students’ basic-needs data, but how that effort helps boosts completion rates.

“I’m honored to be able to contribute to this conversation,” Crowley said. “It will not only be about food and housing insecurity, but also about transportation, childcare and other common barriers to student success. I look forward to sharing our data that demonstrates how retention, completion and transfer rates skyrocketed among our most at-risk students who received even small amounts of federal stimulus money.”

AC stated that the panel will be moderated by Alicia Powers, managing director of the College of Human Sciences’ Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University, and joined by Josh Dickson, senior advisor for the Office of Public Engagement at the White House.

The panel will include, Dominick Arrieux, NAACP collegiate chapter event coordinator at Florida Atlantic University; Amanda Gonzalez Garcia, student leader and founder of Hunger to Action at Barry University; and Joshua Williams, founder and president of Joshua’s Heart Foundation in Miami, AC listed.

In a statement with AC, Crowley notes that “economic revitalization depends more than ever on an educated workforce. Successfully addressing the issues of poverty is not only potentially life-changing for students and their families, she says, but students who finish what they started have a positive impact on the workforce.”

“Our economy stands to benefit greatly if only we continue to address these life barriers,” Crowley concluded.

Click here to register for the event.

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