What happens when you bring together more than 200 college-age alumni, over 100 professionals, and an amazing keynote speaker like Shaun King? You have a fantastic day of career networking, advocacy, and learning.

Supporting our KIPPsters doesn’t end when they earn their high school diploma. We work behind the scenes to help them graduate from college and find good jobs so they can lead choice-filled lives. That is why for the last eight years, KIPP Through College has hosted the KIPP Alumni Summit to encourage college persistence and kickstart career opportunities.

The day includes panel discussions, skills workshops, small group sessions with professionals, and a Career Expo. During the Career Expo, representatives from 35 organizations recruit KIPPsters for summer internships, training programs, and part- and full-time jobs. This is a great way for a wide variety of recruiters to get a first-hand look at our hard-working alumni, and in past years, many jobs have been successfully secured through the job fair.

We spotted Emilia at the job fair. She’s a recent grad from KIPP NYC College Prep who is studying Government & Politics at St. John’s University.

In addition to the great opportunities to learn from others, there are professional skill workshops for alumni who want to dive into topics like personal finance, securing an internship, adapting your major to a career, and more. These workshops are led by facilitators with experience in a range of fields and are helpful way to connect our KIPPsters’ personal experiences with professional goals.

Over the years, the KIPP Alumni Summit has grown in size and scope. To appeal to our diverse alumni group, we’ve broadened the topics to appeal to those pursuing college degrees, those looking for alternative options, as well as our recent graduates. Our favorite change is that our older alumni are now joining us as professionals, and sharing their college and career experiences with the younger KIPP graduates. This is a true testament to the lifelong model of support and giving back that we embrace at KIPP.