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Monday, November 29, 2021

Uplifting Communities Through Education Collaboration

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by Kara Kavensky

The best outcomes happen through collaboration. No one person, nor a single organization, can go it alone. Martin Univeristy looks for synergies with its partners, which includes Eleven Fifty Academy, as it accomplishes its mission to provide excellence in educating and developing traditional and non-traditional students in an inclusive, and supportive environment. The following is an interview with Dr. Sean Huddleston, President of Martin University.

Q: What is the history of Martin University?

A: Originally named Martin Center College, Martin university has always been independent institutionally but grew organizationally out of the Martin Center, a nonprofit human services agency. The idea of a “human services agency” is appealing, and quite an accurate description of this servant leadership-minded institution.

Q: Eleven Fifty Academy is honored to partner with Martin University. What is the focus of this collaboration?

A: Eleven Fifty Academy is providing access to their accelerated tech bootcamps that compliment our existing pathways towards successful careers for students. Our partnership focuses on transformational change through one of the fastest methods, which is via technology.

Q: What is the significance of technology for Martin University students?

A: Tech is a high demand area which lacks a significant amount of diversity. The community surrounding Martin University is untapped and we, along with our partners, are working hard to open up an accessible funnel into careers in tech for our students who may be looking to change their career.
Q: What is the mission of Martin University?

A:  Martin University exists to help people to achieve greater things in their lives and work towards achieving generational wealth and to eradicate any barriers by being the first generation in their family to go to college. Being a first generation college student and graduate uplifts entire communities.

Q: How does Martin University approach their students? Do students feel supported along their educational path?

A: At Martin University, we feel it is our job to support those who feel disregarded and disadvantaged by traditional bias of higher education. Many individuals have not always felt accepted or valued, yet potential students who posses goals of high achievement should not feel marginalized. We work hard to help individuals believe in themselves and fill in the picture for their future goals.

Q: What is the impact of earning a degree from Martin University?

A: Those who may not have thought that a higher education could change their lives feel the ripple effect that goes beyond the degree. The goal is not to walk across the stage at graduation, as that’s a milestone, not a goal, but their journey is one without a finish line. Our graduates use their degree as a super power that will ultimate reshape their lives in years to come.

Q: “Transformational” is a word that Eleven Fifty Academy uses to describe their mission. I am hearing the same vibe from you.

A: Martin University’s approach to education is “transformational work” and our efforts are equity work at its finest. The reverberations of transformational change that an education can have to an individual and their community can be a literal game changer. The word “transformational” is the key impact word for us, at Martin University, and Eleven Fifty Academy.

Q: There seems to be a groundswell of support to life vulnerable communities. Are you experiencing this, too?

A: Our community is quickly attracting in other like-minded organizations to lift our vulnerable community. I believe that students simply need an opportunity to show the world who they are and what they can do. They all possess these beautiful internal lights and we help them to shine brighter than they already are.

Q: Who are some of your partners?

A: We are delighted to work with our partners: the ROCK [Eastern Star church], InnoPower, Eleven Fifty Academy, and Goodwill Industries.To quote a lyric from Ne-Yo, “you can be a movement by yourself, but you can be a force when we are together.”

For more information on career paths to tech: elevenfifty.org

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