My Experience at Maritime Academy

Local College Access Networks (LCANs) are community-based college access alliances supported by a team of community and education leaders representing K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business, and philanthropy. These networks are committed to building a college-going culture and dramatically increasing college readiness, participation, and completion rates within their community. Each year, they attend Maritime Academy, where they undergo a rigorous three day comprehensive training, in order to strengthen their college access strategy.

Ann Konarski serves as the LCAN Coordinator for the Lapeer County Access Network and attended Advanced Maritime.

Advanced Maritime allowed me time to really immerse myself in the nuances of Collective Impact. So often, in our daily network routines, we look at the big picture and the next immediate move. The Academy lets us stop to really take every idea word-for-word and recognize the small picture, without the time constraints of our network tasks.  I love that I have time to really connect with my colleagues, learn who they are, what they’re doing in their own network while also looking at the minutia of best practices. Sometimes it’s all in the details!

Here in Lapeer County, we are focusing on Leadership Team development, engagement, and sustainability. Our group spent the entire Maritime Academy concentrating on the benchmarks including, where we currently are and where we want to head.  The exactness of language and plethora of examples really identified to me the path we need to walk with all our network partners and leaders.

As with my initial Maritime Academy, I left feeling terrifically energized and ready to tackle anything.  This training really puts me “in the zone.” It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s power-packed with great information. The intensity of three full days is such a great jump start to the next chapter our network is working toward.  Just when I feel inadequacies in my coordinating efforts, I learn and feel and see how great our network is really doing.  This is enhanced because of the care and passion of MCAN leaders and all my LCAN peers.

Thanks so much for allowing all of us to be who we are, in our individual geographic locations, and yet make us feel and know we are part of this big picture. This entire group of people cares so greatly about their students, community, and the state.  It’s impressive to witness the drive and passion associated with these networks and coordinated efforts and initiatives.  It is teamwork at its finest. Lapeer County is working hard and is very appreciative!


Author: Ann Konarski, Lapeer County CAN! Coordinator
Posted: Sept. 10, 2018


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