Knox County to host national GradNation Community Summit

Special to the Mountain Advocate

Success is an attainable goal for every student, and the community plays an important role in helping students succeed.

That is the message of the upcoming Knox County GradNation Community Summit, which will bring together community members to support and identify their fundamental role in empowering students to achieve educational success.

The Knox County GradNation Community Summit on June 15 at Lynn Camp Middle /High School in Corbin boasts an impressive roster of speakers. They include, Kentucky’s First Lady, Jane Beshear, and Hasan Davis, former commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice.  The event is one of only two rural summits to be held in the United States this year.

The Knox County GradNation Community Summit is part of a national campaign through America’s Promise Alliance that seeks to raise the United States’ graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. The current graduation rate nationally is 81.4 percent. The GradNation campaign has been building on 105 dropout prevention summits happening across the country to raise awareness and inspire action.

“This event will build upon the experiences and ideas of its attendees to create task forces that will work through the remainder of 2015 to make a real difference in the lives of students and in our community,” said Kelli Moore, coordinator of the event and project director for the Berea College Knox County Full-Service Community Schools Program.

Moore continued: “The event will bring together people from across the region who have a heart for helping kids and their communities. Our lineup of speakers—from Kentucky’s First Lady to Mr. Davis—will bring an abundance of passion and knowledge about the importance of education and how community members can play a part in helping students in the area graduate high school and go on to successful futures.”

The most important message Moore wants people to leave the Summit with is, “Every person can play a role in helping students. Our community as a whole will benefit greatly from students who have mentors, clear directions, good education and bright futures.”

The Knox County GradNation Community Summit will focus on place-based solutions to the barriers students face in graduating from high school. The program highlight will be the powerful and moving role Knox County students will play as they lead participants to understand the challenges some students face in furthering their education.

“I am proud of the fact that this is not an ‘educational’ summit, but a community summit that involves a broad cross-section of the community: non-profits, faith-based groups, businesses, educational institutions and community leaders,” added Moore.  Most importantly, Moore looks forward to seeing a better Knox County and a better southeastern Kentucky as a result of the ideas generated and the commitment gained from this Summit.

More information about the summit is available at