EGI hosting annual forum

Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.

Wanted: Residents interested in taking action to help support programs that improve the lives of east Gainesville residents.



* What: The 11th annual Santa Fe College Community Outreach & East Gainesville Instruction Community Forum.

* When: 6-7:15 p.m. Sept. 26.

* Where: Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2505 NE 8th Ave.

* Information: Call 352-395-5767 or email

If that sounds like you, then you may want to attend the 11th annual Santa Fe College Community Outreach & East Gainesville Instruction Community Forum to learn about new and ongoing programs and how east Gainesville citizens can make a difference.

The forum, which is open to the community, will be held from 6-7:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church at 2505 NE 8th Ave. Light refreshments will be served.

Karen Cole-Smith, executive director of East Gainesville Instruction, or EGI, said EGI officials will deliver an annual report to let the community know what has been accomplished through the collaboration with community partners. Cole-Smith said EGI continues to partner with local faith-based organizations to achieve outcomes in the area of education empowerment.

This year's theme will be "EGI In Action."

"How can you take action?" asked Cole-Smith. "Ask yourself how you can be part of this partnership for action for education empowerment. Think about what action you can take to support some of EGI's initiatives," said Cole-Smith.

Cole-Smith said examples of "EGI In Action" include:

Preparing for Academic and Student Success, or PASS: A program that provides students at Eastside High School and Hawthorne High School with the tools they need to successfully transition to college.

Technology Outreach: In partnership with FloridaWorks, computer labs in various churches in east Gainesville have been equipped with FloridaWorks software for job skills and job searches and church members have been trained by FloridaWorks to return to their church and provide assistance to jobseekers.

Financial literacy: The program has been expanded to serve students in elementary, middle and high school as well as adults. This year, 200 people were served.

At the forum, Santa Fe College president Jackson Sasser will offer remarks and Cole-Smith will give a report card and progress report on the EGI five-year strategic plan, which runs from 2011-2016 and emphasizes education and parental empowerment.

"We made a commitment to make an annual report letting the community know what has been accomplished through collaboration," said Cole-Smith.

Cole-Smith said it's the college's position that by providing educational opportunities, anyone can have access in order to close the gap of economical and education disparity.

"Santa Fe College reaffirms its commitment to education empowerment and wants to continue to play a role in the ongoing vitality of the east Gainesville community," said Cole-Smith. "We want our partners to feel valued and appreciated for all they do in helping the college with its community outreach efforts."

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