May 1st, College Decision Day in America, is upon us. So to is College Signing Day, an annual celebration for college-bound students started by Michelle Obama and her Reach Higher initiative. Through the bettermakeroom.org website and popular social media hashtags #BetterMakeRoom and #ReachHigher, Reach Higher has increased awareness on college access and affordability and inspired thousands of students to continue their education.
On this episode of Admissions Live, we sit down with Eric Waldo, Executive Director of Reach Higher, to talk about the current state of college access in America, the history of Reach Higher and the #BetterMakeRoom movement, new initiatives and much, much more.
Adam CastroAdam Castro currently serves as the Vice President of Admissions at Mercy College, a private, multi-campus, comprehensive college in New York. His portfolio includes the areas of college admissions, marketing, branding, and analytics, and the Student Services Support Center. Prior to arriving at Mercy, Adam spent nearly fifteen years at Bloomfield College, the last seven as Vice President for Enrollment Management overseeing admissions, marketing, and financial aid. Adam is an active member of numerous organizations including the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and NAFSA: Association for International Educators. He is also co-host of Admissions Live, a monthly professional development program on the Higher Ed Live network. A New Jersey resident, Adam received his master’s degree in Public Administration from Kean University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Library Studies.
As Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative, Waldo is working to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their post-secondary education, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a 2-year or 4-year college or university. His role cuts across policy, advocacy, and community engagement to further the goal that the U.S. once again leads the world in terms of college graduates. After leaving the White House, Waldo moved over to the non-profit, Civic Nation, where he continues to lead Mrs. Obama’s college access and completion initiative as the Executive Director of Reach Higher and the Executive Vice President for Education. Prior to joining the First Lady’s staff, Eric served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S Department of Education for Secretary Arne Duncan. He earned a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an M.Ed. from Harvard University, and an A.B. from Brown University