Future Over EverythingOn Friday, October 5, 2018, Skyline College’s ASTEP Learning Community hosted the Future Over Everything Conference. Presented by Get Far Magazine and sponsored by the Skyline College Center for Career & Workforce Development, the Future Over Everything Conference focused on connecting 150 African-American high school and college students with entrepreneurs, professionals, and educators through engaging workshops and exciting panels. Throughout the day, participants had the opportunity to explore fields that will shape the future of this world.

This year’s inspiring keynote address was delivered by Iddris Sandu, a Post Modern Innovative Futurist. Sandu shared his journey as a tech maven who began his career at the age of 13, working for powerhouses such as Google, Instagram, and Snapchat, and collaborating with Nipsey Hussle to create Marathon Clothing Store, a smart store that allows customers to gain exclusive access to Nipsey Hussle’s music while exploring the physical store. Sandu is currently focusing on projects that merge architecture, design, and technology. He encouraged students to take the future into their own hands and use technology to solve problems.

Following the exciting keynote address, students then broke off into a variety of workshops.  Students in high school explored some of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) programs led by our amazing faculty members:

  • Maryam Khan and Marco Wehrfritz conducted a workshop that introduced students to coding in the Fab Lab.
  • Patrice Robinson provided a space for students to engage in creative expression through painting and art.
  • Nick Kapp created a hands-on experience in which students learned about the science of the beauty industry by making their own antiperspirant!
  • Safiyyah Forbes guided students through the magic of chemistry and made fake blood, changed the color of milk, and even watched toothpaste explode! (it was safe, we promise!)

Students also attended engaging workshops and panels led by industry professionals:

  • Devin Lars, Achieve the Goal spoke about his journey as an entrepreneur and led students through how to start their own business.
  • Ashley Williams, Associate Director of EDvance at SFSU; Joseph Adams (’16), SFSU Ethnic Studies graduate student and SMCCCD FDIP Intern; and Walter Manuofetoa (’18), UC Santa Cruz – Critical Race and Ethnic Studies undergraduate student, shared their perspectives on how to prepare for life after college, and their experiences transferring from community college to a 4-year university, and from undergraduate to graduate school.
  • Harold Lowe, INROADS; and Zaid Ghori, Director of Special International Programs, Skyline College, shared information about internships both locally and abroad.
  • Marcus Savage, Year Up, provided attendees with information about the Year Up Internship Program and amazing opportunities that they have here in San Mateo County.

Iddris Sandu joined Rachel Bonds (Google), Devin Lars (Achieve the Goal), Xiomara Rosa-Telda (Unoeth), and Richard Vaughn (Macys.com), for a lunch panel moderated by Get Far Magazine’s Ameer Walton. The focus of the panel was on young black professionals navigating their careers in both tech and entrepreneurship. The panelists encouraged students to be true to themselves when entering the corporate world. They also shared some of the hardships of being an entrepreneur and taking risks, as well as the joy and satisfaction that entrepreneurship brings.  All of the panelists provided great tips on networking, goal setting, and staying motivated even in the face of challenges.

Many thanks to everyone who made this day come to life!

Thank you to Andrea Vizenor, Claudia Paz, and Elizabeth Tablan from Career and Workforce Development. Thank you to Ameer Walton for bringing this wonderful event to Skyline College and serving as the MC for the day. Thank you to all of the ASTEP faculty, staff and students that supported the day: Danielle Powell, Brittney Sneed, Kwame Thomas, Delisle Warden, Bianca Rowden-Quince, Melissa Aliu, Safiyyah Forbes, Chanel Daniels, Gael Juarez, Victoria Gomez-Alfaro, April Bracy, Marcello Menjivar, and John Aguas. Many thanks to the Outreach and Counseling teams that helped ensure that the day ran smoothly: Grace Beltran, Lauren Ford, Eric Imahara, Rex Chow, Angelica Alvarez, and Cara Loo.  hank you to Kevin Chak and the Bookstore for donating prizes for participants.  Thank you to MCPR, Josh Harris, Roger Marcelo, Bryant Evans, Vinny Samujh, and the entire facilities team for ensuring that Skyline College was a welcoming environment for all of our guests!

Article by Lauren Ford

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