College of Education hosts annual conference

October 5, 2017


Bryn Young

News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu


University Hall echoed with ideas as local community organizations meet at the annual  Let Us Dream conference kicked off on Friday, Sept. 15.


The theme of the event was “Community Interventions and Improvements” which looked at how small community actions can create larger improvements in the community and the country.


The conference was founded by Reverend Dr. Lijo Thomas and co-hosted by SciTEC, Children’s Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, Louisiana Tech College of Education and the United Way.


Thomas founded the D.R.E.A.M.S. program to help low self-esteemed middle school children achieve academic and professional success through teaching personal development and leadership skills. He started the Let Us Dream conference to help bring together people serving the different areas of the community to network and problem solve.


“Whenever we have some kind of need in our society, occasionally people think about ‘where do we get the funds?’” said Thomas. “You know, the fund is the secondary thing. I believe in human capital. If you are solely focused on the money, the moment it stops the project stops. If you can build a community-a group of people with a philanthropic concept to change society for better-that will sustain. That group will find the resources and what is required.”


The booths bordering the building’s main room showed teasers of what each program did and the contributions they have made. The booth workers were eager to explain what their organizations did and how they were making an impact. At one all white booth stood Tessa Whitten who works with Freedom 13 Ministries, a sexual integrity ministry. Whitten said the conference was an opportunity to get word out about their organization.


“We are kind of an up and coming ministry right now,” Whitten said. “We have been here for a while but we have just now had a lot of doors open for us. We just wanted to let people know we exist here in Ruston and let people know what we can do for them.”


Organizations were not the only ones taking advantage of the refreshments and networking opportunities. Students also took the chance to look at how they could help in their community. Sarah Daigle, a nanosystems engineering major, said she thought the conference was important for her hopes to help the community.


“This seems very helpful,” said Daigle. “I am definitely interested in education and personally I’d like to bring a better understanding of science to the community. This is a really good opportunity to look at my options for doing that.”


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