A statewide program that supports young people who have been homeless or in foster care pursue their educational goals will again hold its annual leadership conference at UGA.

The second annual Embark Georgia Leadership Conference is scheduled for May 16 – 17, 2018 at the UGA Tate Student Center.

Run by the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Embark Georgia is a statewide network of higher education professionals who provide support for youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness and are enrolled in or interested in attending any postsecondary educational institution in Georgia.

The conference aims to develop that network by bringing those educational professionals together with other agencies that work directly with foster care and homeless youth to provide technical assistance, leadership training, and other forms of support that help the youth in their educational pursuits, said David Meyers, Fanning Institute faculty member.

About 175 people attended the inaugural conference in May 2017.

“Last year’s inaugural conference allowed leaders in this field to connect and collaborate with each other,” said Matt Bishop, director of the Fanning Institute. “Having the experts in the room, sharing best practices and new ideas, helps ensure these students receive the support they need to achieve their educational goals. We look forward to again providing this leadership development opportunity and encourage everyone to attend.”

Open to higher education and high school professionals, case managers, homeless liaisons, private foster care professionals and any other interested community partners, the conference will include simulations, breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

“The response to last year’s conference was overwhelmingly positive,” said Meyers. “Building upon that, new workshops and an enhanced simulation activity this year will develop the leadership capacity for higher education professionals to return to their schools and direct successful efforts to support these students.”

Conference attendees will also hear from keynote speaker Clare Cady, a scholar-practitioner whose work rests in the intersection of higher education and human services.

“Cady has been on the front lines of addressing basic needs insecurities among college students by developing programs such as campus pantries, emergency aid funds, housing interventions, and resource centers,” said Lori Tiller, Fanning Institute faculty member. “We are honored for her to share her insights and knowledge with us as we strive to assist these students achieve their goals.”

The deadline to register for the 2018 Embark Georgia Leadership Conference is May 7.

To register for the 2018 Embark Georgia Leadership Conference, click here.