EVENT: The UCI & Team Kids Innovative Thinkers Forum IV unites education, public safety and philanthropic leaders across the county to strengthen relationships, elevate effective practices, share resources, and drive innovation in how we equip and empower K-8 kids to make a difference.

WHEN/WHERE: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, May 5, at the Cove at UCI (bldg. K, grid I4 on this campus map: https://parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-MainCampusMap-REV012320-23.pdf)

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend should contact Sheri Ledbetter at 949-230-8962 or ledbetts@uci.edu. Attendance and parking are complimentary for media who RSVP in advance.

Parking is available in the Cove lot.

HIGHLIGHTS: Speakers include UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman and Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Michael Dennin. The keynote speaker is Arshay Cooper, author of A Most Beautiful Thing, which is also an Amazon Prime documentary by the same name. Additional speakers include Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan and those listed on this webpage.

BACKGROUND: This is the 20th anniversary of the partnership between UCI and Team Kids in their shared mission to facilitate meaningful student experiences and to empower K-8 students as passionate advocates addressing their communities’ most pressing issues. This innovative university-nonprofit collaboration has become a national model, with Team Kids staff, university students, and on-duty police and firefighter mentors implementing the flagship Team Kids Challenge Program in schools from Compton to Brooklyn, New York. The program is empirically validated – with published research in the American Psychological Association journal Psychology, Public Policy and Law and other top academic journals – to strengthen protective factors that prevent high-risk behaviors, such as drinking, drug use, violence and other actions that rob youth of their potential. The Team Kids Challenge Program is also proven to promote thriving indicators, the cultivation of self-esteem and positive mentoring relationships. View this brief overview video of the event from Julie Hudash, Team Kids founder and CEO.