Des Moines Area Community College
“Students at Des Moines Area Community College said that having Isa Adney speak on campus was living proof that the advice they’d heard from others really works! Her anecdotes are personable and relatable to students of all ages. When she told them she’d stay in touch, she was sincere. Students report corresponding with her on a regular basis long after her presentations on our six campuses.” – Jan LaVille, Director of Honors Program at Des Moines Area Community College
[An e-mail the Provost of Des Moines Area Community College, Urban Campus, sent to Jan after the program]: “Dear Jan, I wanted to take a minute to thank you again for bringing Isa Adney to DMACC. On Friday evening we had nine students inducted into PTK. The number was higher than past semesters, and the students talked about how Isa’s presentation had pushed them to consider membership. Remember the crying young woman that Isa spent time with after the Urban presentation? I am happy to say that she joined PTK on Friday, too. Thanks again for bringing Isa to the Urban Campus!” – Laura L. Douglas, Ph.D., Provost of Des Moines Area Community College, Urban Campus
New York State College Completion Day
“Isa Adney was the perfect choice to be the keynote speaker for New York state’s first-ever Completion Day in October 2012, a day set aside by the state’s 37 community colleges to convey a simple message: Getting your associate’s degree pays dividends. She appeared live at Finger Lakes Community College, and the event was streamed across the state. Rave reviews! Heartfelt and helpful, hers was just the right message delivered by just the right person. Here’s one good measure: I looked around the packed performance hall as she spoke, and no students were texting. Amazing.” – Bob Matson, FLCC NYS Completion Day
Virginia Community College System
[An e-mail to Isa from the Director of Student Services at VCCS]: “Hi Isa, I am writing to thank you again so much for the great keynote presentation you made last Friday evening. I know that any time you can actually hear a ‘pin drop’ in the room, the students are definitely engaged. I think your message was very relevant and inspirational, and that is exactly what I had been seeking when you and I met earlier. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you!” – Jennifer D. Allman, Director of Student Services for the Virginia Community College System
Mobilize.org College Completion Summit
“We invited Isa to keynote our conference, and I can definitely say that after seven years and eleven Summits, Isa was one of the most inspirational, passionate and authentic speakers that we’ve had the pleasure to hear. She has the rare combination of a compelling personal story, and the clarity of purpose that requires her to work for and with other young people to address the challenges that they face.
“Our participants gave her a standing ovation, and kept her at dinner for an hour after the conclusion of the event to tell her how much they appreciated her struggle, her work and her commitment to improving educational access to all. On social networks, and on Miami campuses, students are still talking about Isa and it was a privilege to be able to connect Isa with this group of students and I look forward to continuing to engage her in our programming. Thank you for sharing your story, Isa and for your hard work.” – Maya Enista Smith, CEO of Mobilize.org
University of Central Florida First Generation Program
“I asked Isa to speak to our students because I knew she would connect with them and inspire them to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams. She shared her journey with them which led them to open up to each other in a powerful way. She was the perfect speaker for my program!
“The students loved Isa. Her story resonated with their own, and they felt empowered by knowing that, they too, could shine. I would recommend Isa to other colleges because she can speak to our students in ways that they understand and connect with. She is a great role model and wonderful speaker who will not only engage and inspire students, but will also leave them with useful information and steps to help them reach the next level.” – Natalia, Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Central Florida.
“Isa was absolutely fabulous while speaking to our students. She talked about her journey and how despite the many obstacles in her life, she didn’t stop striving to reach her dreams. Many of our first generation and multicultural students could relate to her experiences. She helped them to understand with determination and motivation success is within their grasp.” – Wayne Jackson, Director of Multicultural Academic & Support Services at the University of Central Florida
Pasco-Hernando Community College Staff Development
“Isa was the highlight of our program. She inspired our staff and reminded them that it is the little things we say and do that make a difference in the lives of students. I believe she had an impact on our staff that will assist us greatly in serving students. I highly recommend Isa to other colleges and programs that want to inspire their staff.” – Bob, Associate Dean of Student Activities & Engagement at Pasco-Hernando Community College.
College Acess Program for Hispanic Students
“Isa spoke in front of high school students that she had never met before and was able to capture their attention for almost an hour. She had them listening so intently to her life story and how she has climbed her ladder of success; some even took notes voluntarily. After Isa spoke the students wanted to know as much as possible about her. They really could relate with her story of coming from a family that did not go to college and had moved here from another country. Once Isa left the students chattered about how much they enjoyed listening to her and how they really wanted her to mentor them so that they could also be successful.” – Rachel, College Access Program Advisor with Americorps
Maricopa Community College District
“After visiting your website and reading your book, I knew without a doubt that we had to have Isa is our keynote speaker for our 2014 Maricopa Community Colleges Academic Advisement Conference. Her story, experiences, work in the community college setting, and the tips she shared made her the BEST candidate as our keynote speaker.” – Don Jensen-Bobadilla, Program & Events Coordinator
“Isa tells her powerful story in an impactful, thought-provoking, and relatable way. Her uncanny ability to motivate an entire room of community college staff members to offer their best to students is beyond inspiring, and I’d bring her back in a heartbeat!” – Dayna M. Mathews, Career Advisor
Pearson Student Leadership Conference
“Isa was amazing! I have to say I have never seen a speaker connect with the audience the way she did. Her story is unique and everyone should have the opportunity to hear. I was so impressed and just very moved by her story, personality, ability to connect, and her down to earth style. She is awesome and hope she will return to deliver the amazing message of giving yourself and being able to brand yourself. Thank you for having her and for everything!!!” – Conference Student Survey
“I thought the most dynamic speakers/ presentations were on the last day of the summit. I walked away thinking – “wow!” – Conference Student Survey
“Isa Adney was a highlight of the conference for me. She has a unique story that everyone should hear as well as a natural way to connect with the audience. Not only was she professional and a great speaker, she truly cares for each and every person and shares the same passion with Pearson. Thank you again.” – Conference Student Survey
Facebook Messages After Speeches
“Your story tonight was that fuel I needed to continue to perform at the high level I have been for the past two years since I’ve began my journey with community college. Thank you for the inspiration tonight.”
“I was very impressed with your speech yesterday! More importantly I wanted to thank you for taking time to share your story with a group of community college students. When I first began my community college experience in 2007 I wasn’t optimistic. I saw my friends going to 4-year colleges right a way as a sign that I wasn’t academically or financially capable to succeed in that kind of setting. Today I am top of the class and proudly struggling through my first semester in the Dental Hygiene Program at LFCC. I hope more students hear your message because there is nothing like hearing it from someone has been through it. Thank you for showing us we are not alone!”
“I attended your presentation at DMACC West today, and I can honestly say that you have changed me. I feel like your words will echo through rest of my life. I cannot believe how much of my story I heard in yours. Two years ago, when I began testing for get my GED I was a classic underachiever. I have changed my major three times and I had no intentions in moving past the two-year degree. Therefore, I was under the belief it would do very little for me. Today you changed that! Your presentation brought to light all the opportunities I have already passed up and all that are still available. After I send this to you, I am going to download a copy of the application for PTK and get involved. A copy of your book will soon be in my hands. I could not let you influence me so much and not tell you part of my story.”
Delta College Completion Day Surveys
“The topic and discussion helped me understand how to handle everything that came with college in a better way. Also, the stories were interesting.”
“Isa is a very inspiring speaker. She has a great way of connecting with the audience. She relates us to herself and vice versa. The t-shirts are awesome!”
“She is very inspirational. Helped me understand some of my struggles.”
“She really boosted my confidence, and I can keep going to be successful.”
“Her stories were so encouraging and helps you realize we can all break the barriers and go far. Always believe. She is an amazing woman I can already tell. Awesome presenter! Thanks!”
“Very inspiring. I’m going to really use this stuff. I was just starting to feel that need for the ‘Dream’ thing.”
“She gave me a lot to think about for someone who has a wife, 2 kind and works 40+ hour a week.”
“Had really valuable information on succeeding in college and getting involved.”
“Very good speaker. Focuses on others as well as herself by sharing her story.”
“Very good. I like how she was young and was talking to us. Made me want to listen more.”
“Isa’s story was very moving and helped me realize what I need to do to fulfill my college life.”
“I think we should make this part of freshman orientation.”
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