KDSL Global interviews author and College Success Coach Jahquan Hawkins

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KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to connect with author and College Success Coach Jahquan Hawkins.  Jahquan now serves as the Dean of Student Services at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills campus.  He believes in empowering the community by empowering others.

 

What inspired you to focus on higher education?

I’m a product of Detroit Public Schools. I was a first-generation college student who lost two academic scholarships and almost became a casualty of Academic Suspension during my freshman year at Wayne State University. The sacrifices my parents made to ensure that I received a quality education motivated me to right the ship even though I struggled initially.  I was also extremely blessed to have well-intentioned mentors in my life who saw potential in me and consistently invested in my personal and academic success.

Ultimately that experience was the foundation to my career in higher education.  I relish the opportunity to provide the support to this generation of students that so many provided for me when I was finding my way as an undergraduate.  My college journey was life-altering and has opened doors I never imagined I’d be able to enter.  I understand that college isn’t for everyone, but in many ways, it was invaluable to me.

 

Tell us about your newest book.

Donovan’s College Adventure was inspired by the energy and imagination of our “junior citizens.”  I published my first book, Finding My Way, three years ago, and that journey landed me in a multitude of spaces.  I would frequently participate in book fairs that were family oriented and people were bringing children of all ages.  Finding My Way was geared toward college-bound high school students and current college students.  I quickly realized that I didn’t have a book which spoke to the elementary grade audience.  Being the father of a 6-year-old, I’m constantly reading children’s books but I hadn’t read a book that speaks to the journey that connects kids to their career aspirations.

Donovan’s College Adventure introduces kids to the higher education environment through the lens of 5-year-old Donovan Mack.  Donovan is curious, outgoing, and loves to learn.   It’s a fun story that will hopefully help kids understand that attending college is a dynamic experience.  You learn just as much outside of the classroom as you do inside the classroom.  My goal is for kids to embrace the experience as a viable pathway to their success.

 

What can schools and parents do to promote a college going culture?

Early exposure is key.  Parents should be consistently talking about career interests with their children, connecting them with opportunities to meet people who work in those areas, and taking them to the spaces that ultimately will prepare them for their desired career.  There are a number of dual enrollment opportunities for students which allow young people to dip their toes in the water before they decide which higher education experience best suits them.

In my ideal world, we would have a much more fluid relationship between secondary and post-secondary institutions.  K-12 systems should be in regular conversation with colleges and universities about industry trends, articulation with curriculum and mentoring opportunities. Too often, students enter the higher education environment ill-prepared to adjust to the cultural norms.  We must expand upon our partnerships to ensure that this doesn’t happen.  The culture will change when we realize that we need each other in order to be viable for the next 100 years.

 

 

To learn more about Jahquan’s work visit:

https://www.jahquanhawkins.com

https://twitter.com/jahquanhawkins

https://www.amazon.com/Donovans-College-Adventure-Jahquan-Hawkins/dp/1947045237/ref=asc_df_1947045237/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=265892495433&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12163597628235931043&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060325&hvtargid=pla-617048512209&psc=1

 

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About Jahquan Hawkins

Jahquan Hawkins is a proud husband, father, College Success Coach and native Detroiter. After struggling as a college student himself, Jahquan has experienced a successful career in higher education and now serves as the Dean of Student Services at Oakland Community College’s (OCC) Auburn Hills campus.  Jahquan believes in empowering the community by empowering others.  In 2011, he and a group of college stakeholders helped establish OCC’s Man Up Program which provides higher education exposure opportunities for young men in Southfield Public Schools.  Jahquan is the Co-Director of this dynamic effort which has seen over 300 young men earn transferrable college credit as dual enrollees at the OCC.  In 2016, Jahquan published his first book entitled Finding My Way: A Practical Guide to College Success.  The text has been adopted by institutions such as Harper Woods Schools, Job Corps, and Wayne State University as a mechanism to help students adjust to the culture of the higher education environment.  Most recently, Jahquan was named one of Michigan Chronicle’s 40 under 40 Honorees, joining other community trendsetters in the class of 2018.  Jahquan recently published a children’s book entitled Donovan’s College Adventure.  This latest release is designed to inspire youth to intentionally pursue their dreams through education.  In his spare time, Jahquan volunteers with organizations such as Detroit Kappa League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and My Brother’s Keeper.

 

 

 

 

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10 to know in education in the UAE in 2017

In celebration of ten years serving the global education community we are highlighting ten to know in education in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in 2017. The UAE was selected since the founder has been based here the majority of the last ten years. Each person will be shared throughout this year. Our sixth to know is Limitless Education.

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At Limitless Education we fundamentally believe that we should be educating the next generation in creativity and imagination and supporting them to believe in and follow their passions and dreams.

We are creative education specialists, with a successful track record of developing early year’s settings, mentoring and leadership and student empowerment. With experience as teachers, head teachers and local authority advisers, we support and guide educators to develop their own unique philosophies for learning. Our consultants are selected on the basis of their education expertise and the core belief that ‘dreams, passions and imagination’ should be at the heart of education. They provide long or short-term consultancy, coaching, mentoring and workshop arrangements to support leaders, practitioners and students. With the main aim to improve practice and develop an ‘anything is possible’ mind-set.

Rachel Lloyd

As co-founder of Limitless Education, Rachel is passionate about fostering an understanding of the importance of dreams, passions, imagination and creativity in education settings. She is committed to education reform and is invested in shifting the focus from grades and assessments to dreams and passions.

Rachel is an inspiring educational consultant who specialises in authentic leadership, empowerment, creativity and imagination in education settings.

Rachel committed herself to exploring the most effective education philosophies, she is highly knowledgable in ‘Reggio Emilia’ and child initiated learning. During her time leading schools in the UAE and UK, Rachel developed her own unique education philosophies, which incorporated ‘passion projects, developing dreamers and creating change makers’.

With 16 years experience in education she has created outstanding and innovative education practices. She has successfully lead Early years departments in the UK and international and has been highlighted as an innovative and inspiring headteacher by local authorities. With a refreshing and remarkable mindset she support educators developing unique teaching philosophies and practices.

Kelly Seymour

Kelly Seymour is an expert in Leading and Teaching within the Early Years and has dedicated her career to developing child led learning philosophies that empower students and teachers to shine. Her fearless and empowered mindset has enabled her to develop practices and workshops for teachers and students that encourage creativity and imagination and promote empowerment and authenticity.

Kelly is passionate about developing the dreams and imaginations of the next generation in order to bring positive change into their lives and the world. She cofounded Limitless Education in order to develop innovative teaching and coaching practices that will support and empower all practitioners to bring this awareness and understanding to the forefront of education. Kelly is a unique facilitator due to the mindful combination of her passions in teaching, exploring the limitless possibilities of the imagination and playing with creativity.  She fundamentally believes that in order to effortlessly create our dreams we must playfully and creatively explore our imaginations, clear our fears and limiting beliefs and become empowered to create positive change in our own lives.

Kelly is dedicated to student empowerment and developing fearless living, she fundamentally believes that in order to create positive change in the world and education reform we need to collaborate with our youths, understanding that their empowerment is the key to sustainable change.

Twitter -@limitlesseduca1
Facebook – A call 4 creative action
Instagram – limitlesseducation

KDSL Global interviews Limitless Education

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Limitless Education is a consultancy with a difference: focusing on creativity and imagination, with an aim to support all children achieve their dreams.

We recently got the chance to interview Rachel Lloyd and Kelly Seymour, the dynamic duo behind Limitless Education. Kelly and Rachel are experienced Early Years practitioners and leaders who specialize in empowerment and fearless leadership. With a refreshing and remarkable mindset they support educators in clearing their limiting beliefs and fears which enables limitless and unique teaching philosophies and practices to be developed.

What hardships have you faced when developing Limitless Education?

The biggest difficulty was confronting our own limiting beliefs around starting a business. We absolutely love running our imaginative teacher workshops and student empowerment retreats, this is where we are in our comfort zone. However there were some limiting beliefs around making a living out of what you love. The core message of Limitless Education is that we support youth to achieve their dreams and become immersed in their passions. So when our own limiting beliefs were challenged we constantly reminded ourselves of our ‘limitless education’ philosophy.

How fulfilling has it been to create and foster Limitless Education?

It has been an amazing journey and one of true self-discovery. The power of our thoughts and beliefs has been evident and we have plenty of opportunities for growth and self-reflection. The most fulfilling moments are when we are running the workshops and we start to notice the beautiful change in the teachers and students we work with. This is the moment we look at each other with awe and say ‘Can you believe this is our job?!’

We are now at the point where we need to foster this philosophy to ensure its sustainability and are in the process of writing a book, which is a step by step guide to support educators to awaken imagination and creativity in their settings.

What inspired you to travel the path that led you to Limitless Education?

We had created something quite magical in our early years department. We had developed a unique concept of ‘the imaginative school’. We knew it was something special and our academic results were going through the roof. Inspectors were blown away with what we had created and reinforced that they had never seen anything like this before. It was at this point we knew we had to share this philosophy with other educational establishments and created ‘limitless education’ with the aim to awaken imagination and creativity in schools.

It was a pleasure interviewing the pair and we found the responses to the questions really enlightening.  Rachel and Kelly readily admitted their fears about starting their own business and managed to temper their anxiety with their passion and commitment to what they believed in. Passion is such an important part of education – it should always shine through when inspiring young people. Their forward-thinking nature and drive to make their system sustainable brings real hope to the future of education, and their book is a clear example of their evolving presentation style, allowing them to spread their ideas further. Finally, it seems that like many other successful enterprises, Limitless Education was sparked by a single great idea: the imaginative school. And from this spark, their whole philosophy worked itself out leading to positive feedback from inspectors – no small triumph.

To learn more about Limitless Education visit http://www.limitlesseducation.net/.

 

Thalia Suzuma and Matthew Diprose
KDSL Global
Website: www.kdslglobal.com
Twitter: @KDSL07
Facebook: KDSL Global