May 22, 2017

White Bear Lake, MN – Century College in cooperation with the White Bear Area Schools ISD 624, North St. Paul-Maplewood Oakdale ISD 622, Stillwater Area Public School, and Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District / Northeast Metro 916 invite you to this engaging event where Dr. Donna M. Beegle, a national poverty expert who has been featured on CNN and PBS, will share how you can be involved in helping build an Opportunity Community in the Northeast Metro to make a difference in the lives of students living in the crisis of poverty.

Working together, we can build a poverty-informed Opportunity Community to support a more prosperous future for our students, community and state. This includes a shared understanding of poverty and its effects, shared language for addressing poverty, and strategies for overcoming barriers. Currently, only 11% of those coming from a poverty background in our nation leave college with a degree or certificate which drastically limits their prosperity. With your help, we have an opportunity to increase the numbers of students who complete degrees and/or certificates right here at Century College which can lead to a more prosperous future for the students, their families and generations beyond.

This year, Century College, in collaboration with Dr. Beegle’s organization, Communication Across Barriers, will lead the effort to develop the very first Opportunity Community and College in Minnesota to increase access, retention, completion and graduation rates for students from historically marginalized populations. Amarillo Community College implemented this model 3 years ago and student retention for this population of students went from 48% to 92% for those involved in the program.  Century College will be working closely with Russell Lowery-Hart, PhD and President of Amarillo Community, as well as community leaders from business and industry, K12, higher education, social services, faith-based and other organizations as we move forward together in developing the Opportunity Community.

Come and learn how you can become part of developing the Opportunity Community to eliminate poverty and the opportunity gaps that exist in Minnesota. This will need your experience, your spirit, and as we work together to strengthen the foundation for a thriving community and closing the opportunities gaps. Please join us at this Prosperity Summit event and learn more about opportunities to participate in creating lasting impact in our community. This event is sponsored by Century College.

Please RSVP to by June 14 – include your name, organization, title, and any other information you would like to share with us.

About Dr. Beegle and the Opportunity College Model

Dr. Donna Beegle grew up in generational poverty, dropped out of school at 15 to marry, completed her GED at age 26. She returned to community college and 10 years later, completed a doctorate. Dr. Beegle’s groundbreaking work on breaking poverty barriers has been featured on CNN and PBS. Her research based Opportunity College model works to create confident, skilled and engaged members of our workforce. To learn more, visit: and

“Our war with poverty is only winnable if we act as a collective team. Poverty is a more powerful teacher than any faculty. Its teaching is destructive and overrides our classroom and extra-curricular experiences. We must remove the barriers of poverty by rethinking our systems, policies, and processes through a lens of understanding.  When we embrace the students we have – and the barriers they bring with them – rather than the students we wished or thought we had, we can truly defeat poverty, and save our community in the process.”

Russell Lowery-Hart, PhD and President of Amarillo Community College


Century College is located in White Bear Lake, MN and is one of the largest two-year community and technical colleges in Minnesota. Century College is a member of the Minnesota State system. Century College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and educator.