The Opportunity Network Will Teach Career Skills at White House Summit on Beating the Odds
New York, NY, July 20, 2015 – Students from The Opportunity Network will join First Lady Michelle Obama and leaders in college access and success to teach career skills to college-bound high school graduates at a Beating the Odds Summit at the White House on Thursday, July 23rd. Founder and CEO Jessica Pliska and her team will lead two dynamic workshop sessions at the Summit focusing on career development and securing internships.
The event, part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, will focus on sharing tools and strategies students can use to successfully transition to college and the resources they will need to persist and complete the next level of their education.
Mrs. Obama, who is a first generation college student herself, will hear suggestions from the students about ways to help low-income students succeed in college and career.
More than 130 students will attend the Summit, representing a mix of urban, rural, foster, homeless, special needs, and under-represented youth who have overcome substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college.
Two Opportunity Network students will attend the event with the First Lady. Isaac Guerrero, a first generation student from Crown Heights, Brooklyn, decided to pursue a computer degree after meeting a Facebook engineer. He will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the fall. Emir Brown, a first generation student from Harlem, is an aspiring spoken word poet. He will attend Emory University in the fall.
“It is especially important for low-income students to make plans not only for college but also for their careers. I’m thrilled to be able to help the First Lady use her personal experiences to spread this message to students across the county,” said Ms. Pliska.
The Opportunity Network equals the playing field for low-income high school and college students through a robust curriculum that combines college counseling with career exposure, professional etiquette, and skills to build networks. One hundred percent of Opportunity Network students graduate from college, and eighty-five percent start career-track jobs or gain graduate school admission within six months of college completion.