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Three locals head to Washington to attend 'opportunity' summit

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Thursday's College Opportunity Day of Action hosted by Obama, First Lady


Three representatives from Hillsboro are winging their way to Washington D.C. today to attend the White House College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, Dec. 4.

Hillsboro School District Assistant Superintendent Steve Larson, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce President Deanna Palm and Hillsboro Schools Foundation Director Aron Carleson will join President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the second White House College Opportunity Summit.

The summit will bring together colleges and universities, business leaders, nonprofits and others who are committed to supporting more college opportunities for students across the country.

The first summit, held in January, bought together leaders to begin work to expand college opportunities. Thursday’s summit will build on that work, with the president expected to announce 14 new commitments by community colleges to expand college opportunity by strengthening college readiness for academically underprepared students.

Thursday’s day-long summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage students to attend college, and supporting colleges to work together to improve college completion, especially for first generation, low-income and underrepresented students.

"This is an amazing opportunity," said Carleson Wednesday afternoon after landing in Washington D.C.

"We're thrilled Hillsboro has been recognized and invited to attend."

The Hillsboro School District, Hillsboro Schools Foundation and Chamber of Commerce work together in a number of ways.

The Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce runs the School to Work program, which organizes career exploration days, job shadows and internships for high school students at local businesses.

The foundation raises money to benefit students in the Hillsboro School District by providing grants for innovative programs designed by teachers. The foundation has committed this year to help fund STEM kits for every elementary school classroom in the district.