Center for Leadership Development Hosts 14th Annual College Prep Conference and College Fair

CLD hosts Indiana students and parents at annual statewide event

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Center for Leadership Development (CLD), presented with the support of title sponsor Strada Education Network and in collaboration with college and university administrators, hosted students and parents at the organization’s 14th Annual College Prep Conference and College Fair at the Indiana Convention Center. Students in grades 8 – 12 and parents from across the state of Indiana were immersed in the college readiness process and had the opportunity to learn effective study habits, about college campus life and more.

As part of the day’s event, keynote speak, Anthony Murdock II, delivered a powerful address to young students and their families. Murdock, a CLD Alum, is a local servant-leader trailblazing his own path in Indianapolis. Murdock is among the inaugural class of the IBJ’s 20 in their Twenties and shared his knowledge of hard work and dedication, spreading motivation and inspiration to students from across the state.

The event also provided parents and caring adults with resources on college admission and graduation requirements. Through a hands-on approach, students learned how to choose the right college or university, gain admission, succeed in college and, most importantly, graduate. In a 2017 Measure of America survey conducted by the Social Science Research Council, 19.3% of the African American youth in Central Indiana, ages 16-24, were found to be not engaged in school or work pursuits compared to 10.4% of their white peers. This event combats statistics like these and opens the door for Black youth across the state.

“To address the alarming statistics regarding African American college preparation and completion rates, CLD, along with college, university, and community partners created the CLD College Prep Conference and College Fair to expose many more African American students and their parents to the idea of college as an available option,” said CLD President Dennis Bland. “It is our hope, in conjunction with our organization’s RISE campaign, that we can shift the narrative for African American youth to a future of limitless potential.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners who have continued to help make this event possible; you are fostering the change with us.”

The one-of-a-kind event offered grade-level sessions led by well-known subject matter experts and presenters such as Ken Barlow, Dr. Michael A. Couch II, Ontay Johnson, Thomas X, Aleanya Moore and many more. Conference sessions included:

The Foundations of Searching for Scholarships – This workshop teaches parents and students searching for scholarships on the Internet the benefits of obtaining scholarships and how to increase chances of finding more scholarships by using a combination of several different scholarship search engines.

How to Maximize your College Visit-In Person and Virtually – During this program, students and parents develop a plan for how to take advantage of visiting campuses, in person or virtually, to determine which college is best for them.

The Importance of an Internship – In this session, students learn how to research internships and how to utilize their internship to maximize their employment potential.

Parent Purpose: Changes in the College Admission Process – This workshop provides parents with in-depth knowledge of the college admissions process to empower them to support their student in the college application process.

Know Your Financial Worth – This session teaches students how to create and value a financial plan and help them increase their financial vernacular.

Financing your Student’s Education – In this workshop, parents learn how to understand FAFSA, stackable and unstackable scholarships, parent plus loans, state-based aid, and how to financially plan for a child’s dream school.

Your Character Closet: Choosing the Right Character – In this session, students learn how to make the nest character choices to further their pursuit of educational excellence and career achievement.

“D.E.I. – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” – a Foundational View – This session delves into defining what the terms Diversity, Equity and Inclusion mean, and shares why they are relevant and important in schools.

The POWER of a Parent Advocate! – In this session, parents learn about concrete strategies for being a strong parent advocate and making sure their child’s interest is served no matter their grade level.

The following educational institutions participated in this year’s College Prep Conference:

  • Anderson University
  • Ball State University
  • Brebeuf Jesuit
  • Butler University
  • Central State University
  • College Choice 529
  • Culver Academies
  • DePauw University
  • Eleven Fifth Academy
  • Franklin College
  • Grace College
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Hanover College
  • Indiana Commission for Higher Education
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana Tech
  • Indiana University
  • Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  • Indiana University Luddy School
  • Indiana University School of Social Work
  • Indiana Wesleyan University
  • INvestEd
  • IU School of Education at IUPUI
  • IUPUI Office of Community Engagement
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Manchester University
  • Marian University
  • Milhaus
  • MSD of Lawrence Township
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue College of Agriculture
  • Purdue University
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • Sallie Mae Fund
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Taylor University
  • University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Valparaiso University
  • Vincennes University
  • Wabash College
  • Wilberforce University
  • Wittenberg University

Strada Education Network, a national social impact organization devoted to research, philanthropy and solutions that align education and careers, is the title sponsor for the event. Additional sponsors include the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, INvested, Ivy Tech Community College, Roche, Allison Transmission, KeyBank, Eastern Star Church, and Lacy Foundation.