ConnectED, a nonprofit organization that partners with school districts across the country to inspire and equip students for success in college, career and civic life, has appointed three new board members. Ricardo North America President Marques McCammon, JFF Labs’ Director Clare Bertrand and Twitter Global Head of Partnership Strategy and Operations Alexandra Kennedy join the board to provide students with unique perspectives into education and the corporate world.
The three new members possess decades of practical professional experience that will help guide ConnectED toward creating more meaningful college and career prospects. According to Daphannie Stephens, Chief Program Officer at ConnectED, each person is a perfect role model for young students, specifically those from underrepresented groups such as women and people of color.
“I’m most excited that Marques, Clare and Alexandra are from such diverse industries,” said Stephens. They bring an understanding of organizational development that is really vital for our success. Whether it’s Alexandra’s ability to unlock new strategies, Marques’ communication abilities or Clare’s unique professional perspectives, they understand ConnectED’s challenges and will provide concrete next steps for improvement.”
McCammon, with experience designing cars for Chrysler, marketing electric vehicles and leading global software teams for connected and autonomous software, will supply perspectives from the executive suite regarding the requisite skills to prepare students for lasting success in high-wage, high-skill careers.
“The work ConnectED is doing to inspire students is a noble cause,” said McCammon, who leads a company that engineers and designs products for the transportation industry. “I joined because I want to encourage the next generation of engineers and be a guiding light for students as they transition into college and the job market. I want to be an example to people of color by showing that your background and where you came from will not determine your entire life. Instead, your drive and abilities can propel you to incredible heights.”
Bertrand’s leadership in the field of career navigation is built on the belief that integrating technology and innovative practices can help low-income youth and adults make informed decisions about education and careers.
“As someone who works in the education and workforce space, I’ve been inspired by ConnectED’s reputation for deep, high quality work with school districts to build career-connected pathways,” said Bertrand. “ConnectED has a rich history of partnering with districts and postsecondary partners to build systems that support college and career pathways that serve all students.”
Kennedy develops global content partnership strategies for Twitter, helping the platform drive sustainable revenue growth while enhancing the user experience. Before Twitter, Kennedy was the Chief of Staff to the Chief Digital Officer at Under Armour, working on corporate and digital strategy.
“I look forward to supporting the evolution of the curriculum to ensure students are prepared for a future with technology-forward careers,” said Kennedy. “The educational experience ConnectED provides helps young people see themselves in a career and set their sights on achieving goals they may not have known possible — this is especially important for students coming from underserved and underrepresented communities. As a Black woman, I want to be an example for these young people to believe that they can do anything regardless of their circumstances.”
ConnectED partners with schools, districts, and communities to transform education through Linked Learning pathways so that all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, are prepared to succeed in college, career and civic life. Pathways combine rigorous academics, demanding career and technical education, real-world experience and personalized supports. Each pathway adopts a major industry theme such as digital media arts, engineering and design, or law and justice to respond to student interests and connect classrooms to the outside world. Over the past decade, ConnectED has helped more than 50 school districts in 10 states create more than 250 rigorous college and career pathways that today serve more than 75,000 students annually. For more information, visit www.connectednational.org.