Grantee Spotlight: Roadtrip Nation

ECMC Foundation Hosts Premiere of Roadtrip Nation's New Documentary "One Step Closer"

By Mai P. Tran, ECMC Foundation

04/24/18

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Roadtrip Nation

Last Tuesday, Roadtrip Nation's iconic green RV parked outside of Sacramento's historic Crest Theatre, where it welcomed guests attending the premiere of "One Step Closer."

Made possible with support from ECMC Foundation, the documentary explores the critical role that community colleges play for students across the country, whether they are at the beginning of their educational journey or coming to college with various life and work experiences.

"One Step Closer" features three students—Armand, Becca and Melanie—who are at different stages of their community college experiences. The film follows their journey as they travel 3,300 miles across the country in a green RV in search of career inspiration. Along the way, the roadtrippers interview leaders and professionals who all started their professional journeys with a community college education. Thanks to the wisdom and passion shared by the interviewees the roadtrippers also learn how community college can help them meet their own educational and career goals.

Before viewing the highlights from the film, the audience heard opening remarks from ECMC Foundation leadership. "We supported the documentary because we believe that all viable educational pathways should be celebrated. Community colleges serve a critical role in launching and accelerating the future of so many students, yet are rarely given the credit they deserve," said the Foundation President Peter Taylor.

"'One Step Closer' illuminates the power that higher education, and particularly community colleges, have in launching an individual's career," said Foundation Board Chair Jack O' Connell. He also shared that supporting the documentary was extra special to him because under his leadership as the 26th Superintendent, the state's Department of Education supported Roadtrip Nation's curriculum development 15 years ago.

The audience also heard from panelists who shared their perspectives on the importance of finding one's passion, recognizing community colleges as a vital part of our education sector, and utilizing the resources available on-campus.

Roadtrip Nation's co-founder, Mike Marriner said he and his friends started Roadtrip Nation to help other individuals find careers they're passionate about after experiencing their own set of challenges.

Laura Hope, California Community College's Vice Chancellor of Educational Services, talked about the critical role that these institutions play: "Community colleges level the playing field so that all of us can find a future that we all deserve."

Roadtripper Armand shared advice for students struggling to get started in their educational journey: "Don't be afraid of entering in community college – even if you don't know what you want to do. You will have support and opportunities to discover that."

To view photos of the event click here.

To stream the documentary online click here.

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