CollegeSpring Alumni Reflect on the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit











We were proud to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two CollegeSpring seniors, Floyd Black and Silvia Madrid, who joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House for the 2015 Beating the Odds Summit! Here are their take-aways for the CollegeSpring community:

“Not only were we able to receive words of encouragement from the First Lady and President, we were able to meet terrific students who have overcome struggles both similar and different to our own. This allows for more perspective on our situation and has inspired me to continue to #ReachHigher.” 

~ Floyd Black, CollegeSpring alumnus, attending UVA in the fall


“Being able to connect with students from all over the country that have shown resilience through the most difficult situations was inspiring, and listening to the words of encouragement of the First Lady and President was utterly amazing.” 

~ Silvia Madrid, CollegeSpring alumna, attending UCLA in the fall



Floyd and Silvia were joined by Kathy Dominguez, CollegeSpring Vice President & Southern California Executive Director. Like First Lady Michelle Obama, Floyd, Silvia, and Kathy are all first-generation college students. For Kathy, the event highlighted the importance of college role models and support for first-generation students:

“Every student in the room WILL graduate college because they were told they are important and their experience is shared by the most powerful people in the world. The First Lady’s passion for increasing college access for first-generation students was palpable. It was an incredibly empowering event!” 

~ Kathy Dominguez, CollegeSpring Vice President & Southern California Executive Director

Part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative, the summit honored 130 youth from 70 nonprofits who overcame substantial obstacles to persist through high school and make it to college. The event focused on sharing tools and strategies for students to successfully transition to college and complete the next level of their education. We are so proud that CollegeSpring’s students were represented!

Read more about the event here and on Twitter.