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The University of Akron Hosts Youth Innovation Forum


Youth Innovation Forum - Dec09Pictured (left to right):  Lee Gill, UA Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; Monika Moss, CAAO Volunteer and author of Life Mapping; David Baker, UA Interim Senior Vice President and Provost; Connie Atkins, CAAO Executive Director.

On December 19, 2009, The University of Akron welcomed the Youth Innovation Forum Career Day and Conference sponsored by the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO). Campus sponsors included the Office of Inclusion and Equity and the College of Business Administration.

Students, teachers, mentors and family were welcomed to the campus by Interim Provost and Senior Vice President David Baker. CAAO Executive Director Connie Atkins provided further greetings and opened the program. Two keynote speakers addressed issues of personal drive, perseverance, creativity and entrepreneurship. Kim Johnson, the first speaker, is Executive Director of Reach Out. She was followed by Alonzo Mitchell III, Founder and Managing Partner of DMV Apartment Finders.

The Youth Innovation Forum invited students between 10 and 19 years of age to participate in teams designing offerings for sponsoring organizations under the guidance of mentors who are experienced with the program. This year’s presentations focused on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Kaiser Permanente. All students and families also participated in break-out sessions that included panel presentations and group discussion of The Ideation Process, Other Youth and Community Opportunities, and “What Happens When I Turn 18?”

Campus participants included Lee Gill, Associate Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity who assisted in planning and underwriting the event and marshaled the university resources to ensure a successful day. Charlene Kemp-Queener represented the College of Business Administration at a recruiting table. Other tables were staffed by The Office of Financial Aid and The Office of Multicultural Development. Dr. Jennifer Hodges, Assistant Dean of University College, was a panelist for the “What Happens When I Turn 18?” session. Dr. Douglas Hausknecht, Interim Chair of the Department of Marketing assisted with coordinating arrangements.

Related Media:

  • Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO)
  • West Side Leader Column