There was no shortage of inspiration at the Alternative and Adult Education F.A.C.T.S Symposium on Dec. 2, as leaders from across Kansas City area shared their experiences with several groups of students.
The F.A.C.T.S. (Facing Adversity Calmly to Focus on Success) Symposium aimed to provide KCPS students with the opportunity to receive life enhancing, and possibly life changing, advice from notable community members. Speakers included Deputy Chief of the Kansas City Police Department Randall Huntley, Attorney Barbara Anne Washington and UMKC Associate Director of Academic Support and Mentoring Dr. Rodney Smith.
In order to create a more personal learning experience, students were split into small groups and rotated between the different speakers. During a session with Deputy Chief Huntley, students listened to the importance of making smart decisions.
“The bottom line is common sense,” Huntley said.
Huntley told several firsthand accounts of how simple choices can lead to lifetime consequences. After almost 30 years in the police department, Huntley stressed the importance of never falling victim to external pressures.
Dr. Smith inspired students talking about his experiences in high school. Smith said he was suspended several times for fighting in the 10th grade.
“I was trying to be somebody who I wasn’t,” Smith said.
Smith emphasized the importance of “self-worth,” and implored students to take matters upon themselves when it comes to conflict resolution.
Superintendent Mark Bedell believes giving students more opportunities to learn from community leaders is essential for their academic development. That’s why the symposium was so valuable.
“It is so important that we collectively continue to broaden our current knowledge in the areas of mindfulness, response to adversity, self-respect and making choices that support long-term success,” Bedell said.