Thank You for Giving Change

Monday, February 23, 2015

Amazon SmileWhat does it mean to be someone’s champion? You listen, you believe, and you give change.

In fall 2014, we launched our #GiveChange campaign to inspire community members and partners to learn about our students, to engage with their stories, and to give back to education—to give second chances to struggling kids who want to go back to school.

Here’s the good news: you gave change! Many of you gave generously to GtCNN, helping us reach out to partner programs around the country, enroll more right-fit students, and provide capacity to create and maintain relationships with school districts, colleges, and new friends in support of our awesome and resilient student population. We thank you.

This year promises to bring transformative change and new energy to GtCNN. We are so excited to grow our programming, develop new pathways to serve formerly disengaged youth, and to hear from you! You can be a champion to a student in need. #GiveChange and give back.

GtCNN Co-Hosted National Convening Reengagement Plus

Friday, February 20, 2015

Student Speaking

In December, Gateway to College was at the center of a national convening in Portland, OR. GtCNN co-hosted and sponsored the 4th annual Reengagement Plus conference, which brought together more than 250 experts from reengagement centers and programs representing 38 cities across the nation.

Nick Mathern, GtCNN’s Associate Vice President of Policy and Partnership Development, served as emcee of the opening plenary and set the tone for the two-day event. “Sometimes you have to be the march before there is a march,” Nick shared, paraphrasing 2014 Gateway PLC speaker Bertice Berry and referencing the growing interest in reengagement work in cities around the nation. The conference has doubled in size in each of its four years, showing the importance that cities have placed on reengaging their youth.


In Oregon, there has been strong recognition of and commitment to reengagement work. This was evident throughout the duration of the convening, and reinforced when Portland Mayor Charlie Hales hosted a reception at City Hall, and when the mayor and current Oregon Governor (then Secretary of State) Kate Brown participated in a panel discussion at Portland Community College. In her remarks on the panel, Secretary of State Brown framed our work in broad societal terms, stating that an achievement gap is an opportunity gap and should be unacceptable to anyone in elected office. Mayor Hales linked high school graduation to the future vibrancy of the city. “In Portland, in order to increase the high school graduation rate and prepare our future workforce, we’re focusing on dropout recovery as well as dropout prevention,” stated the mayor.

Student session

Participants were eager to share best practices over the course of the convening, and it was clear that cities with large delegations are beginning to recognize the importance of working together to provide multiple options for students. In a student panel led by GtCNN’s Prentice Davis, there was a consensus view among the students that they lacked a sense of connection before they dropped out. “I checked out before I physically left (high) school,” shared one PCC student. Audience members reflected on the importance of having wraparound services available to students to ensure their success.


Throughout the two days, conference participants shared their perspectives on the gathering via social media. We brought many of these thoughts together – along with images and media coverage from the gathering – in a Storify page. The Reengagement Plus convenings have grown quickly in their short history. Communities around the country are clearly aware of the need to support this work, and there is a growing interest in building a larger network. Gateway to College is committed to continuing to work with our partners, including the National League of Cities, to serve as a sponsor and leader in future Reengagement Plus convenings.

External Links - "Kate Brown on Education" OPB - Reengagement Plus 2014 Storify - "2014 Reengagement Plus" National League of Cities

Gateway to College National Network welcomes Dr. Eduardo Marti to Board of Directors

Friday, February 13, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore., February 3, 2015 - Gateway to College National Network announces the election of Dr. Eduardo Marti to its Board of Directors. Mr. Marti will travel to Portland, Oregon, in February for his inaugural meeting with fellow trustees.

An advocate for high standards and traditional values of education, Dr. Marti has been a national leader in community colleges and higher education. His experience and leadership will further elevate the work of Gateway to College National Network to empower youth who have dropped out of high school or are not on track to graduate to earn a diploma and dual credit in a supportive college environment.

“I look forward to applying my leadership experience with community colleges to advancing the work of an organization that is making an impact in communities across the country,” shares Dr. Marti.

Dr. Marti served as Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges of the City University of New York and currently serves as Interim President of Bronx Community College. He served as President of Queensborough Community College from 2000 to 2010. Dr. Marti received his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees from New York University, and has been a community college leader for more than 25 years. Dr. Martí also serves on the Board of Trustees of Teachers College at Columbia University, as a member of the Board of Governors of the Council for Aid to Education, and as a member of NYS Governor’s Commission on Education Reform.

Laurel Dukehart, president of Gateway to College National Network, states, “Dr. Marti brings a wealth of experience and true passion for the students we serve. It’s a privilege to welcome him to the board.”

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Gateway to College National Network (GtCNN) partners with 43 colleges and more than 150 school districts in 23 states to help struggling students earn a high school diploma and achieve success in college.

Dr. Marti joins eight other directors on the board, chaired by Martha Lamkin, retired founder and CEO of the Lumina Foundation for Education.

About Gateway to College National Network
Gateway to College National Network builds the capacity of colleges, school districts, and states to
revolutionize education for high school dropouts and under-prepared college students so that all young
people can achieve college credentials. Our strategies include creating and replicating innovative
programs, building partnerships between K-12 and higher education institutions, influencing systems,
conducting research and sharing what we know, helping effect policy and regulatory changes, and
providing customized consulting services to colleges and school districts. For more information, visit our website, follow on Twitter @gtcnn, or Facebook.

Devora Shamah

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Dr. Devora Shamah is Senior Manager of Research.  She has been part of the Research and Evaluation Team since 2009. At GtCNN, she assists with ongoing analysis as part of our continuous improvement work, conducts research projects and consults with community colleges around student success for underserved and previously disengaged youth. Current research and evaluation projects focus on student support, positive youth development, and program improvement. One of her current research projects specifically examines the ways youth negotiate challenges at home with school responsibilities. In addition to her responsibilities at GtCNN, Devora teaches adolescent development at Oregon State University.


Devora’s training is in Human Development. She has conducted research on educational, career, and family aspirations; sense of purpose; and identity development in adolescents. Prior to working at GtCNN, she taught at an alternative middle school. Devora holds a BA in Communications from U.C. San Diego, an M.S. T. (masters in teaching) from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Oregon State University.

Nick Mathern

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Nick Mathern is Associate Vice President of Policy & Partnership Development. Since 2005, he has brokered agreements between colleges, school districts, and state education agencies in order to connect communities with training, professional development, and evaluation services, as well as replication and implementation of the Gateway to College program model. Nick is also responsible for developing and executing the National Network’s policy agenda, which aims to provide pathways, resources, and support services for opportunity youth to reengage with education and achieve success in post-secondary programs.

Before coming to GtCNN, Nick taught in a small alternative high school. His previous career was in social services involving child abuse intervention, serving children and families who were survivors of domestic violence, and working with adjudicated youth and adults. He holds a BA in Sociology from Drake University in Iowa and a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on education policy from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. 

Emily Froimson

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Emily Froimson, GtCNN’s President, is a seasoned philanthropic and non-profit leader with 20 years of experience in organizations which seek to improve educational opportunities and pathways for low- and moderate-income students. She became President of GtCNN in April 2015 after ten years with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, most recently as Vice President, Programs. There she oversaw the foundation’s scholarship and grant programs aimed at increasing college access and success for low-income, high achieving students. Much of her focus was on improving transfer pathways for community college students. 

Prior to her work with the foundation, Ms. Froimson was an attorney working in corporate litigation. She later served as Executive Director of Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk (which has become New Pathways for Youth), an organization that provides intensive intervention, mentoring, after-school, and summer programs for high risk youth. Ms. Froimson also served as a faculty associate at Arizona State University, teaching undergraduate courses in justice studies, youth and society, and research methods. Ms. Froimson holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a law degree from Boston University. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association, including as President, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Phi Theta Kappa Foundation.  

Glenn Fee

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Glenn Fee is Associate Vice President for External Relations. In his role, Glenn oversees GtCNN’s development and communications team. He is responsible for the organization’s branding, internal and external communications, and for providing marketing support for the organization’s range of services and programs. Glenn joined GtCNN in 2014 after serving as Advancement Officer at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, leading the department responsible for all of the college's external affairs.

Before moving to Portland from Colorado in 2011, Glenn was Executive Director of Bluff Lake Nature Center, an urban science education center in Denver that focused on serving youth from Title 1 schools. From 2000 to 2007, Glenn served as Director of the University of Denver's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. Among his responsibilities, Glenn advised student social-action organizations and led international immersion programs in India, Nepal, and Taiwan. Glenn holds a BA in English Literature from Ohio State University and is a proud alumnus of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps program.

Prentice Davis

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Prentice Davis is the Senior Manager of Education Services. Prentice directs the planning and implementation of new Gateway to College programs, supports GtCNN’s national certification efforts, and serves as the organization’s point person for our engagement in Massachusetts. He is also engaged in a number of supportive projects aimed at improving program outcomes for GtC programs nationally. Prentice joined GtCNN in 2006 and was part of the successful spin-off into a separate nonprofit organization in 2008.

Prior to joining Gateway, Prentice spent more than 10 years in Human Resources with companies such as the Portland Trail Blazers and United Parcel Service. While working as a Recruiting Manager, Prentice led training workshops for various youth and adult outreach programs, and served on a business advisory board for a local nonprofit. Throughout his professional life, Prentice has been dedicated to issues surrounding education and employment of vulnerable youth. He holds a BS in Psychology and a Minor Certificate in Cultural Studies from Portland State University. Prentice also earned an Associate of Science from Portland Community College (PCC). In 2010, Prentice was a recipient of PCC’s Diamond Alumni Award at the celebration of PCC’s 50th anniversary, and was honored to be part of this recognition of 50 outstanding alumni.

Jeremy Asay

Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Jeremy Asay is Senior Manager of Development and Consulting. Jeremy works with federal, state, and local government representatives, the philanthropic community, and education institutions and practitioners to develop collaborative solutions to our communities’ most complex problems. He joined Gateway to College National Network in 2013.

Prior to GtCNN, Jeremy was an English and History teacher at a psychiatric youth facility, where he taught foster and adjudicated youth from Chicago, Oakland, and Native American Reservations. His experience with these marginalized youth compelled Jeremy to work with the Freedom Writers Foundation, a nonprofit organization that empowers educators and students to positively influence their lives and the world around them. Jeremy has facilitated seminars at education-focused events across the country and abroad. He holds a BA from the University of Utah and a Master’s of Education from University of Alaska Southeast. 

Harold Levy

Monday, February 02, 2015
Mr. Levy is Executive Director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is best known for having been the first non-educator chancellor of New York City schools, serving for three years starting in 2000, including during 9/11. Prior to working for the Foundation, Mr. Levy headed the edtech investment practice of a venture capital firm and was special counsel to a special situations/distressed debt hedge fund. He also served as the executive vice president of Kaplan, Inc, where he started Kaplan University’s online School of Education, and as the director of global compliance and associate general counsel at Citigroup.

Mr. Levy received a B.S. from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations, an M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from the University of Oxford, and a J.D. from the Cornell Law School. He holds honorary degrees from Baruch, Bard, and St. Francis colleges.

Mr. Levy has served on many boards and committees, including the U.S. Department of Education Committee on Measures of Student Success, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority National Adjudicatory Council, the New York State Board of Regents, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. He served as President of University Settlement, New York’s oldest social settlement, located on New York’s Lower East Side. He was chair of the New York City Commission on School Facilities and Maintenance Reform, whose report resulted in $1 billion in additional capital expenditures for the City’s school buildings. He has also been a trustee of Andover College, the American Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Hall, Cornell University, the Roosevelt Institute, Hesser College, Kaplan University, the Lincoln Center Institute, New York City School Construction Authority and Pace University, and the National Dropout Prevention Center Board.

Currently, he is vice chair of the board of the American College of Greece, a member of the advisory board of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, a board member of Cambium Learning Group, board chair of MetSchools, Inc., a member of the President’s Advisory Council for Teachers College at Columbia University, and a member of the College Promise Campaign National Advisory Board.
Mr. Levy lives in New York City with his wife, Pat Sapinsley, who is an architect. They have two children.


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