College students from across Denver gathered at the University of Colorado Denver today to make their thoughts on education and other issues known to our nation’s highest level of government.
The White House Young America Series: Live From the University of Colorado Denver took place in the Terrace Room. About 70 students from CU Denver, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Metropolitan State College, Denver University and other colleges participated.
The event is part of a series of conferences being held in several cities across the nation, all designed to gather feedback from young people and connect them with the networks they need to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Felipe Ballina, a pharmaceutical sciences student at CU Anschutz Medical Campus, said the Obama Administration last year held feedback sessions nationwide to find out what issues were important to students.
“This year they’re following up and the next step is to develop solutions — ‘what do we do about it?'” Ballina said. “So this is about connecting people, connecting them to local or regional resources.”
Ballina is on the CU Denver student committee that partnered with Project Voyce (Voices of Youth Changing Education), a local organization advocating student leadership and education reform, to host the conference. Event co-sponsor was the CU Denver Office of Outreach, Events and Alumni Relations.
Videos of discussions at each series event will be compiled and distributed in e-books as well as posted on the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov, said Victoria McCullough, assistant to the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
In addressing the group, McCullough said Denver is to be commended for having strong ties between its universities and the wider community. “That’s not something we see everywhere we go.”
She said her hope is that the students at today’s conference will stay in touch and continue to seek solutions to issues confronting youth and education.
“This is not meant to be a one-time-only thing — the White House sweeps in one day and is gone,” McCullough said. “The hope is that we set up something today that is sustainable.”
Also speaking at the event, and emphasizing the need for young voices to be heard, were Raul Cardenas, PhD, associate vice chancellor of student affairs, Arthur Boo, a student at CU Denver, and Ballina.