Path4Ward Advisory Council Brings Dynamic Perspectives

The 2021 passage of the Successful High School Transitions Bill (SB21-106) moved Colorado closer to blurring the lines between high school, postsecondary education, and career by creating the Path4Ward: Early High School Graduate Innovation Program

Path4Ward rewards learners who complete high school graduation requirements early by providing those students a scholarship that can be used for postsecondary education or workforce training in what would have been their fourth year of high school.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) approved the initial pilot participants for the Path4Ward program and the first cohort of eligible students have graduated and are considering their postsecondary plans.

With the objective of jumpstarting the short- and long-term goals and objectives of the program, we convened a national network of education and workforce influencers who will serve as an Advisory Council to the Path4Ward program.

We asked members of the Advisory Council, “Why did you say “yes” to joining the Path4Ward Advisory Council?” and here is what they told us:

"Path4Ward is an amazing idea to level the playing field for kids without means to access postsecondary and make senior year of high school so much more meaningful. Colorado really has the opportunity to lead the nation."

- Jane Oates, President, Working Nation

“No brainer to say yes - this feels like we are coming to the table to DO the right thing. It aligns with my personal mission to eliminate the wealth gap for marginalized communities.”

- Terrence Cummings, Head of Student Services and Strategy, Guild Education

“From a process and systems perspective, I am personally interested in this opportunity to learn together and share information nationally, which has the potential to drive scalable change. Colorado brings a collaborative spirit to this work, and I’m excited about all the state is doing to align education & workforce systems."

- Taylor White, Senior Policy Advisor for K12 & Workforce, New America

Meet the unique group of thought leaders that will help us drive systemic changes for students from low-income households:

Lizzette Reynolds, Vice President of Policy, Foundation for Excellence in Education | ExcelinEd

Lizzette has nearly three decades of policy and legislative experience at the state and federal level. Her career reflects deep experience in education policy development and implementation as well as the “how-to” of legislative work needed to advance education reform.

Josh Scott, Vice Chair, Colorado Commission of Higher Education

Josh currently serves as a board member, investor and advisor for several high-growth Colorado companies. In this capacity, he frequently works with company leaders on their talent strategies, which informs and further fuels his passion for public education.

Jane Oates, President, Working Nation

Jane is a former U.S. Department of Labor official, state policymaker and served as the longtime policy advisor to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA). Over her career, Jane has committed to raising awareness about the challenges facing the American workforce.

Joel Vargas, Vice President of Programs, Jobs for the Future

Joel has advanced state and local practices that promote improved high school and postsecondary outcomes for underserved students. He has helped policymakers and intermediary organizations develop policies that incorporate college and career experiences into high school.

Kathleen Mathers, Principal, Education Strategy Group

Kathleen leads projects on state implementation capacity, educator effectiveness systems, and college and career readiness. She held a range of positions in K-12 education including a role with the Georgia Department of Education and initiatives across the K-12 spectrum designed to improve student achievement and school completion.

Paul Herdman, President and CEO, Rodel Foundation

Paul is a founding member of the Vision Coalition, one of the nation’s longest standing public-private partnerships, which works to transform Delaware’s public schools to world-class status. He serves on a range of local boards, including the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Delaware’s State Chamber of Commerce.

Wil Del Pilar, Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, Ed Trust

Paul is a founding member of the Vision Coalition, one of the nation’s longest standing public-private partnerships, which works to transform Delaware’s public schools to world-class status. He serves on a range of local boards, including the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Delaware’s State Chamber of Commerce.

Amanda DeLaRosa, Strategy Officer for State Policy, Lumina Foundation

Amanda’s career has focused on advancing multistate policy solutions to student success and educational equity, including in her previous roles as a Policy Specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, Policy and Advocacy Manager at Scholarship America, and Legislative Director at the University of California Student Association.

Janet Salm, Managing Director of Research, Strada Education Network – Institute for the Future of Work

Prior to joining Strada, she led strategy measurement and analytical modeling efforts for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's postsecondary success team. She brings 20 years of experience in evaluation, data analysis and storytelling to her work in making education after high school more equitable, affordable and flexible.

Taylor White, National Director, PAYA & Senior Policy Advisor, New America

Taylor is the national director of the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship and a senior policy advisor for K–12 education and workforce with the Center on Education & Labor, where she focuses on designing the policies and systems necessary to establish more effective college and career pathways.

Terrence Cummings, Head of Student Services and Strategy, Guild Education

Terrence is a data-driven executive with over 15 years of strategic, technical and operational experience in Business Development, Strategy, Product and Marketing. He has a successful track record closing deals, building long-lasting partnerships, and leveraging strategic problem-solving to drive performance.

Steven Weiner, Research Analyst, Center on Reinventing Public Education

Steven's previous research has leveraged elements of organizational theory, design studies, learning sciences, and foresight methodologies to explore the institutional challenges schools face when adopting innovative educational practices.

Tim Taylor, Co-Founder and President, America Succeeds

Tim is the Co-Founder and President of America Succeeds, he has a unique background of executive, nonprofit, and public policy experience. Prior to launching America Succeeds, he served as the founding President of Colorado Succeeds. He began his career on Capitol Hill as a Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Saxby Chambliss (GA).

Communications Manager
Colorado Succeeds