New Beginnings Conference


Join over 3000 virtual participants and 300 on-site participants to discover new strategies for student and workforce development at CFES Brilliant Pathways’ 31st annual conference at the Sagamore Resort on Lake George (NY). The New Beginnings conference will provide leaders in education, business, community, and philanthropy with the skills, information, and support they need to promote student success in a new college and career readiness paradigm.

Because education and the workplace have forever changed over the last 30 months, we must adapt and embrace New Beginnings to successfully prepare our children for postsecondary learning and the new workplace. We need new and innovative approaches to help our youth address staggering changes, such as dropping higher ed enrollment, shifting admissions criteria, and frequently misunderstood strategies for paying for college. We also must understand and help students navigate radical changes in the world of work, where millions of new, high-paying jobs are emerging, industries are desperate for workers, and home is becoming the most in-demand workplace.

Register here to join us for the New Beginnings conference.


Keynote Speakers

Kat EchazarretaElectrical Engineer and Science Show Host
Mexican-born American electrical engineer, science communicator, and civilian astronaut. She worked at NASA, first as an intern during her UCLA undergraduate career, then later as a test lead for the Europa Clipper Ground Support Equipment group. Echazarreta is currently the co-host of Netflix’s YouTube series, Netflix IRL, while pursuing a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from John Hopkin’s University. She became the first Mexican-born woman in space as part of Space for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program.
Dr. Calvin MackiePresident and Founder at STEM NOLA
An award-winning mentor, inventor, author, former engineering professor, internationally renowned speaker, and successful entrepreneur. In 2013, Dr. Mackie founded STEM NOLA, a non-profit organization created to expose, inspire, and engage communities in the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). To date, STEM NOLA has engaged over 70,000 K-12 students in hands-on project-based STEM activities. In 2021, he launched STEM Global Action to advance K-12 Stem education across the U.S. and the world.
Ray McNultyPresident, Successful Practices Network (SPN)
President of the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC), and the Successful Practices Network (SPN). Prior to that, Ray was Dean for the School of Education at Southern New Hampshire University. An educator since 1973, Ray has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent. From 2001-03, he served as Vermont’s education commissioner. During his tenure, Ray focused on aligning the Department of Education’s work on three key issues: early education, educator quality, and secondary school reform. He is committed to raising performance standards for both teachers and students and to building solid connections between schools and their communities. Ray believes strongly that education systems cannot wait for the children and challenges to arrive at school; rather, schools need to reach out and help forge solutions.

New Beginnings: Leveraging College & Career Readiness Gains


1:00-1:20pm: Welcome and Reflections, Rick Dalton, CEO & President of CFES Brilliant Pathways
1:25-2:15pm: Opening KeynoteHow to Leverage College & Career Readiness Gains, Katya Echazarreta, Electrical Engineer and Engineering/Science Communicator
2:30-3:45pm: Breakout Sessions

    1. Student Session: Interactive STEM Lesson with Cadets from the US Military Academy at West Point
    2. Building College & Career Readiness Through Multiple Mentoring Models
    3. Developing & Strengthening the Essential Skills™️
    4. New Frontiers in Higher Education
    5. Readying for the New Workplace

4:00-5:15pm: Breakout Sessions

    1. Student Session: Essential Skills™️ Panel With West Point Cadets
    2. The Changing Landscape of Paying for College
    3. Leveraging Social Media for College & Career Readiness
    4. Implementing & Integrating the 10-Point College & Career Readiness Plan™️
    5. Increasing STEM Opportunities for Students

5:20-5:30pm: Day One Wrap up, Ron Rix, Program Director
6:00pm: Dinner
7:00pm: After Dinner KeynoteNew Beginnings in STEM Study & Careers, Dr. Calvin Mackie, President and Founder at STEM NOLA
7:45pm: Schools of Distinction Recognition; Clint Allen & Mario Pena Awards
8:00pm: Cohort Social


8:00-8:30am: Breakfast
8:30-9:30am: At-large Panel Discussion – Embracing New Beginnings: Readiness in the New Paradigm

9:45-10:45am: Breakout Sessions

    1. Student Session: Careers of the Future
    2. Strategies for Engaging Families
    3. Creating STEM Collaboratives with Businesses and Colleges
    4. Building a High-Impact School/College Partnership
    5. Hi-Impact Mentor Training

11:00-11:55am: Summary KeynoteWhat it Takes to Succeed in the New Paradigm, Ray McNulty, President, Successful Practices Network (SPN)
12:00pm: Day Two Wrap up, Ron Rix, Program Director
12:30pm: Lunch
1:00pm: Departure

Sponsorship Opportunities





The Sagamore Resort on Lake George is a landmark hotel with a prestigious history that dates back to the 1880s. Secluded on a private 70-acre island just 60 miles north of Albany, The Sagamore has hosted families, celebrities and dignitaries alike with their signature hospitality established over a century ago. Along with an inspiring setting in the heart of the Adirondacks, this historic enclave offers elegant lakeside accommodations, award-winning dining, and an 18-hole golf course.

Bolton Landing is a four hour drive from Boston or New York City, and a one hour drive from Albany International Airport.

Miles from Boston
Miles from NYC
Miles from Albany

Celebrate Success

School of Distinction

Candice Sakuda, Director of Service-Learning at Chaminade University of Honolulu was last year’s Mario Peña Award winner. Candice and Chaminade University have been long-time college partners, offering hundreds of opportunities for CFES scholars to visit the campus, participate in college & career readiness activities, providing college students as mentors and foster the Essential Skills with a focus on service and student leadership.

At the conference, CFES will recognize the 2021-22 Schools of Distinction for their development and execution of exemplary plans based on the 10 point plan and the three core practices: Essential Skills, Mentoring, and Pathways to College and Career.