Sustaining the Dream

25 Jul 2016 7:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Sustaining the Dream

I just returned from the NASFAA conference where we celebrated 50 years as an organization. Student success stories were shared, affirming that education changes lives.  Being in Washington, DC at a time when our country is experiencing targeted violence and a tumultuous Presidential campaign challenged me to ask, “What can one person do to make a positive impact in our world?” As I found myself standing at the feet of the Martin Luther King, Jr monument, while hundreds of people gathered to pray and advocate for peace, I decided the answer is EDUCATION.  Education is key and we are at the doors of our institutions and organizations helping students with access and affordability for all who want to pursue their dream.  Dr. King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”

What a busy summer!  Your 2015-16 TASFAA Board met June 28th to wrap up their year. This was followed by a two day transition meeting for your 2016-17 Board members, during which we discussed how we can support our organization’s members and the TASFAA mission.  We spent time examining how we operate as a non-profit, how to be wise stewards of the budget we manage, and how we could enhance member benefits. 

One of our first changes put to action was to increase our membership database with additional profile details. This information may be valuable to new and current members who would like to have a conversation regarding best practices, or how best to advance from interpretation to implementation. Think of them as subject expert mentors, available to all, realizing we work in an ever changing environment. Your board is creating a survey that will go out in August to all members.  Please take a few minutes (our goal is to keep it short) and send your feedback. And of course, training is on the calendar. Watch for details for our Fall Training Series, scheduled for October 19 – 21. 

TSAC is promoting statewide collaboration for early FAFSA completion.  THEC, TSAC, TN DOE, tnAchieves, Southwest Tennessee Development District’s Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and the Ayers Foundation have partnered together to create TN FAFSA Frenzy, a campaign to increase statewide FAFSA filing rates.  - See more at: http://www.tn.gov/gearuptn/article/tn-fafsa-frenzy-testing

Their collaboration with our schools is an important initiative that many of you will be participating in.  Please share your events with Cherry Johnson (cjohnson22@columbiastate.edu), Financial Aid Awareness Chair, so we can celebrate these events to sustain the dream of education!  As your offices continue to package financial aid, respond to requests for reconsideration, and plan for orientations know with certainty that your work matters.  Education is Key!

Karen Hauser
TASFAA President
2016-2017

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