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Rodney Walker, a Chicago native, has a Bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and a Masters degree from Yale University. Given the obstacles placed before him as a foster child, Rodney struggled academically and socially in school. In his early years of elementary school, he was placed in special education, repeated the fourth grade due to poor academic performance, and finished his freshman year of high school with a sub-1.5 GPA.

After joining a youth mentoring program in his senior year of high school, Rodney was able to deal with life struggles that had restrained him. During this period, he also joined the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a youth entrepreneurship program for high school students. With the support and guidance of NFTE and committed mentors, Rodney competed and won various business plan competitions. It was here that Rodney became motivated and inspired to start his first business.

He is the founder of Forever Life Productions, a company that creates custom videos for special occasions and events. Along with his production company, Rodney travels both nationally and internationally, speaking at public schools, corporations, and conferences about the importance of education, entrepreneurship education, mentoring at-risk youth, and corporate philanthropy for non-profit organizations aimed to uplift and support at-risk youth.

In an effort to address the epidemic of violence and social failure among at-risk youth in Chicago, Walker is currently partnering with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to create a comprehensive employment pipeline program for disconnected youth across the city. This past spring, Walker earned his Masters in Education from Harvard University.

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AGENDA:

  1. Learn what Social Emotional Trauma is and how it impacts learning
  2. Understand how to adopt trauma informed practices and curriculum
  3. Assess how trauma impacts our roles in schools, job satisfaction and school culture

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