Monday Opening Session Speakers
Be sure to get to the Ed Summit on time on Monday. Our Opening Session Speakers will provide inspirational, hopeful and uplifting stories about how they have succeeded in life because of their education or a person in the educational process that believed in them.
A great way to start our 2 days together, remembering that we can change the lives of youth in care - one person at a time!
Dee was two months old when he was placed into foster care. He bounced through foster homes until he was 12. Most of his young life he strongly believed that no one cared about him. He felt that it was just him against the world and he was going at it alone with no light at the end of the tunnel. Statistically, almost 50% of African American males placed in the foster care system drop out of high school. They are almost 10 times more likely to end up in a prison than to ever step foot on a college campus. This would have been the case for Dee had he not had support of some key people in his educational life. It was with their help and believe in him that allowed him to graduate from California State University; Long Beach with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Dee is now on a mission to show every student that they can have a chance at a successful future…no matter their background!
Kelsey describes herself as "a proud former foster youth". Her experiences in and out of foster homes made it challenging for her to do well in school or believe in herself. She was born in San Bernardino County, and seeing gang violence and experiencing abuse was normal everyday life. Her journey in foster care started at the young age of four years old and she became a permanently placed foster youth at 15 and a half. With the help of teachers and her final placement where she met her forever parents she overcame trauma and built a life she could only dream of. Today, she is the foster youth manager for Tuolumne county superintendent of schools and a mother of four handsome boys and so much more. "Remarkable things can happen when you invest in youth in society. You have the opportunity to build their resilience and make a difference in their lives." -Kelsey Stone
Kevon is a national activist for anti-bullying, education, and at-risk youth. He is the author of “Kevon’s Big Field Day, We should All Have A Chance”. His highly sought-after keynote “Go Make a Difference (#GoMAD),” has been shared with thousands of students, parents, and educators. He is a Peer Support Advocate for San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools where he advocates for youth who experience homelessness or the foster care system. Kevon serves on the Inland Empire Youth Advisory Council that serves homeless youth in the Inland Empire. Kevon is a recipient of the 30 under 30 awards for his dedication, innovation, and service in the 47th Assembly District. Kevon holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Bernardino, and is currently a student at California Baptist University where is working toward his master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership and Student Development. His dream is to attain his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and inspire the next generation to be better, dream bigger, and GoMAD.