At the Ilene Beal Scholar Speaker Series at Boston College, we asked guests to brainstorm words they associated with Wily Scholars’ strengths. As they typed into their phones, we all got to see their thoughts take shape on the screen, each word growing larger as more people added it to our collective “word cloud.”
We watched the word cloud expand in real time as words like energetic, compassionate, creative, problem-solver, savvy, driven, talented and trailblazing all appeared on the screen.
It was a beautiful lead-in to our panel, where we heard from five current Wily Scholars and one alum about their experiences with our program. One panelist said that the word cloud helped to “curate a moment where we feel loved, where we feel seen, where we feel empowered to come on stage and tell our stories.”
Panelists Tiana (she/her), Jax (he/him), David (he/they), Crystal (she/her) and Eric (he/him)
Moderator Ed Walker (he/him) shakes hands with Eric, who will moderate next year’s panel
Attendees also participated in roundtable discussions with Wily staff, student panelists, and alums of our program. It was wonderful to see such thoughtful conversations taking place about the real-world impact of the expectations and assumptions about college students that are built into our higher education system. We are thrilled that so many alums were able to join us – their insights were invaluable, and we were so happy to spend some time with them!
We are so grateful to the Ilene Beal Charitable Foundation for sponsoring the event, which was held in the remembrance of Ilene’s birthday. We toasted to her legacy with birthday cupcakes.
Thank you so much Boston College for hosting us, to panelists Crystal, David, Eric, Jax and Tiana, to our moderator Ed Walker, to the alums who helped lead our pre-panel discussions, and to all the guests who attended and participated!
Two Wily alums reunite
A table toasts to Ilene
Click the small arrow on the right to scroll through the photo gallery