CCAC South Campus student selected as one of six Achieving the Dream Scholars nationwide
PITTSBURGH— Community College of Allegheny County South Campus student RyKai Wright is one of six Achieving the Dream (ATD) 2017 DREAM Scholars selected from across the country. As such, she will attend the ATD annual DREAM conference, held February 21–24 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel. There, she will engage with 2,000 other community college leaders, all of whom will be working in tandem to bring about powerful change for student success.
Achieving the Dream is a comprehensive nongovernmental reform movement that is helping more than four million community college students have a better economic opportunity. The scholars, selected through a competitive national application process among ATD Network colleges, will participate in four days of discussions and workshops centering around seven themes: Leadership & Vision, Data & Technology, Equity, Teaching & Learning, Engagement & Communication, Strategy & Planning, and Policies & Practices. On the final day, Wright will take part in a panel discussion of ATD scholars to reflect on what they learned.
Wright, of Munhall, serves as an officer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Alpha Iota Eta chapter, and is also an ambassador for the CCAC Honors Program and the CCAC Student Ambassador Program. She will graduate this spring with an Associate of Science in Engineering Technology–Mechanical with plans to transfer to a four-year university in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. In addition, she will obtain an associate degree in Mathematics & Sciences from CCAC this summer.
“Ever since RyKai came to CCAC, she has grown as a student and a leader,” said Charlene Newkirk, president of CCAC South Campus. “She is always ready to take on new challenges and has demonstrated a commitment to positively impact the college community. We are very proud of her selection as an Achieving the Dream Scholar.”
When not at the college, Wright works for Best of the Batch Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch that is devoted to improving the lives of children and families in distressed communities. As program intern, she coordinates hundreds of volunteers, creates and analyzes surveys, liaises with the scholarship committee, and assists with program inventory and grant writing. She also spends some of her free time at the foundation tutoring a middle school student in advanced math. Wright became affiliated with the foundation in 2014 upon receiving its Danyl Settles scholarship as a senior at Steel Valley High School, where she was named to the high honor roll and the National Honor Society. RyKai credits her experience in leadership positions at CCAC and at the foundation for giving her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone. Batch and his wife, Latasha Wilson-Batch, executive director of the foundation, have encouraged Wright to pursue excellence in her education and in everything she does.
“RyKai has worked very hard to get to this level, and we’re extremely proud of her,” said Charlie Batch.
To learn more, visit achievingthedream.org. To learn more about the CCAC Honors Program, go to: ccac.edu/honors.
Photo: CCAC South Campus student and Achieving the Dream 2017 Scholar RyKai Wright.