Keynotes

Opening Session, Thursday, Oct. 6, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Barrington Irving

Barrington Irving is very good at rising above obstacles. Literally. Raised in Miami's inner city, surrounded by crime, poverty, and failing schools, he beat the odds to become the youngest person and only African American ever to fly solo around the world. He built a plane himself, made his historic flight, graduated magna cum laude from an aeronautical science program, and founded a dynamic educational nonprofit. Then he turned 28. His message for kids: "The only thing that separates you from CEOs in corner offices or scientists in labs is determination, hard work, and a passion for what you want to acheive. The only person who can stop you from doing something great is you. Even if no one believes in your dream, you have to pursue it." The secret, he believes, is having a dream in the first place, and that starts with powerful learning experiences that inspire kids to pursue careers, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Irving's nonprofit, Experience Aviation, aims to boost the numbers of youth in aviation and other science and math related careers. Middle and high school students attend summer and after-school programs tackling hands-on robotics projects, flight simulator challenges, and field trips to major industries and corporations. In his 'Build and Soar' program, 60 students from failing schools built an airplane from scratch in just ten weeks and then watched Irving pilot it into the clouds. "We want to create a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to take ownership and accomplish something amazing," he notes. "Meaningful, real-world learning experiences fire up the neurons in kids' minds. If you don't do that, you've lost them. Purposeful, inspiring activities increase the chance they'll stay on that learning and career path. We've had one young lady receive a full scholarship to Duke University as a math major and several young men are now pilots, engineers, and aircraft mechanics."

 

Closing Session, Friday, Oct. 7, 2:45-3:45 p.m.

Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch

“Living a Legacy”
Are you living your legacy? A legacy is not just something a person leaves behind after they die; rather it is the way in which they live their life. Through an interactive and introspective presentation, Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch guides participants through their vision of the future and the goals that they want to accomplish for themselves and for their community. She inspires and challenges participants to become living legends in their professional and personal lives. Her unique emotional style of delivery that has the audiences rolling with laughter, attempting to hold back tears and inevitably on their feet in a standing ovation. Through humor and hard-hitting facts she encourages participants to be servant leaders at work and in their community. Participants learn to live their legacy by leading with their soul.

Born and raised in a tiny barrio in Laredo, Tex., Consuelo Castillo-Kickbusch overcame poverty, discrimination and illiteracy to become a successful role model of leadership through her tireless work with the disenfranchised Latinos through uniquely holistic approaches which dynamically connect parents, students, educators and community leaders to move the community forward. 

While in the military, Ms. Kickbusch broke records and glass ceilings to become the highest-ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army. In 1996, she was selected out of 26,000 candidates to assume a command post, which would put her on track for the rank of general officer. Ms. Kickbusch respectfully declined the honor and retired as a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army to fulfill a personal mission of inspiring and preparing Latino families to empowerment.

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