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Utah Education Network (UEN) Recognizes Local Mentors through National American Graduate Initiative

"Stories of Champions" project celebrates the value of mentorship in workforce education.

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Utah Education Network (UEN) today announces the recognition of fourteen American Graduate Champions who help Utah learners reach academic and professional milestones. Nominated by peers in the education community, these Champions inspire and guide others to serve as mentors for students preparing to enter the workforce. Tonight, they will be the guests of honor at The UtahFutures Celebrates Stories of Champions Dinner, a gathering of more than 80 participants from K–12 education, the Utah System of Technical Colleges, the Utah System of Higher Education, public media and industry.

"As Utah's public media network for education, UEN is thrilled to bring attention to these inspirational mentors and the people they serve," said Jenn Gibbs, Utah American Graduate project manager. "UEN initiatives like Utah American Graduate and UtahFutures, the comprehensive education and career planning resource, are strongly aligned with Utah's commitment to workforce development through education and career pathways. We're happy to be doing our part to amplify local conversations around this work."

Hosted by UEN in partnership with KUED, KBYU, KUER and Utah's Hogle Zoo, the UtahFutures Celebrates Stories of Champions Dinner takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight at Utah's Hogle Zoo. The project is funded by a generous grant from WNET and is a part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a national public media initiative to raise awareness around education issues. The dinner coincides with similar events across the nation leading up to American Graduate Day, an annual television event which has reached more than 83% of all U.S. households on more than 100 public television stations. The 2017 broadcast, hosted by Soledad O'Brien and featuring guests such as General and Mrs. Colin Powell, will focus on efforts to address the "middle skills gap"—the difference between the increasing number of jobs that require specialized training and the number of workers qualified to fill them. A UEN-produced video profile of Canyons School District's Kathryn Blunt will be included in the national broadcast and is available for streaming and download here: http://www.uen.org/americangraduate/videos.shtml.

Broadcast on public media stations across the United States, the national American Graduate Day program will air in Utah on UEN-TV from noon to 4 p.m. MST on October 14. For more information visit UEN-TV's broadcast schedule at http://www.uen.org/tv/whatson/.

Individual profiles of the following 2017 American Graduate Champions can be viewed here:

  • Deborah Young, Literacy Action Center
  • Elaine Peterson, South Park Academy
  • Elizabeth Davies, South Park Academy
  • Jamie Vargas, Jordan Academy for Technology & Careers
  • Jerry Hansen, Tooele Technical College
  • Jim LaMuth, Uintah Basin Technical College
  • Kate Brainerd, Guadalupe School
  • Kathryn Blunt, Canyons School District
  • Lisa Birch, Mountainland Technical College
  • Madison Keltner, Ogden-Weber Technical College
  • Mark Hugentobler, Central Utah Academy
  • Matt Fuller, Bridgerland Technical College
  • Nick Tankersley, Girl Scouts of Utah
  • Scott Leavitt, Southwest Technical College

The Utah Education Network
The Utah Education Network (UEN) is part of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN), a nationally recognized innovator in broadband and broadcast delivery of educational and telehealth resources to students and educators, patients and clinicians statewide. UETN provides network, application and support services to more than 1,000 schools, colleges and libraries. It also serves more than 70 hospitals, clinics and health departments in urban, suburban and rural areas of the state. To educate and enrich the lives of Utah residents, UETN operates three digital television stations: UEN-TV, which airs content for adult learners and other education-focused programs; MHz Worldview, a national, independent channel for international news and cultural programs; and FNX (First Nations Experience), 24/7 Native and Indigenous Programming.

About American Graduate
American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen is public media's long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to help young people succeed in school and life. Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), more than 100 public television and radio stations have joined forces with over 1,700 partners across 49 states to elevate the stories of youth and the supportive adults that help them succeed. Through American Graduate, public media, with its unique position as a trusted resource and important partner in local communities, provides a critical platform to shine a light on pathways to graduation and successful student outcomes. National and local reporting, both on air and online is helping communities understand the challenges and community-driven solutions associated with the dropout crisis. Public forums, town halls and community conversations are activating discussions between community leaders, educators and more.  

Media Contact: Rich Finlinson, (801) 864-1074

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SOURCE Utah Education Network

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