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Keynote Speakers


Joe Hendershott at National Youth at RiskDr. Joe Hendershott

Sunday, March 3, 2019
6:00–8:30 p.m.

Reaching the Wounded Student

Based on the presenter’s book Reaching The Wounded Student, this session will look at ways to encourage the wounded student to find academic and life success. By looking at the effects of trauma, Dr. Hendershott will describe methods for boosting esteem, creating empathic connections, and cultivating community. Other topics discussed will include devising alternative discipline to help students remain in the classroom, increase achievement, and ultimately graduate from high school.


Joe Hendershott, Ed.D., is a sought-after speaker about the effects of trauma on learning and behaviors & working with wounded students™. As president of Hope 4 The Wounded, Inc., he also provides consulting, staff training, an online course, and has authored Reaching The Wounded Student and 7 Ways to Transform the Lives of Wounded Students. Joe has over 30 years in education and is the recipient of the 2015 National Crystal Star Award for dropout prevention and the 2016 Bixler Award, which recognizes excellence in education. His ongoing research along with his practical experiences as both a teacher and administrator and his personal experiences as an adoptive father give him a unique perspective that is engaging, thought-provoking, and inspiring.

Dr. Yong Zhao at the 2019 National Youth-At-Risk Conference

Dr. Yong Zhao

Monday, March 4, 2019
8:30–10:00 a.m.

Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children

In this presentation, Dr. Yong Zhao calls for a paradigm shift in education. He brings extensive evidence to show that every child has both the potential and need to become great. To help each and every child achieve their greatness, we require a different kind of education that focuses on enhancing the unique strengths and passion of each child. Education should help each and every child discover and develop their strengths and passions with the goal to create value for others and the world. To do so, we must make education personalizable by the child, instead of personalized for the child.


Yong Zhao currently serves as a Foundations Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas and is the Global Chair of Education at East China Normal University. He is also a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. His works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children, Counting What Counts: Reframing Education Outcomes, and others. He is a recipient of the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association and was named one of 2012’s 10 most influential people in educational technology by the Tech & Learn Magazine. He is an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education. His latest book World Class Learners has won several awards including the Society of Professors of Education Book Award (2013), Association of Education Publishers’ (AEP) Judges’ Award and Distinguished Achievement Award in Education Leadership (2013).

Dr. Pedro Noguera at National Youth At RiskDr. Pedro Noguera

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
8:00–9:15 a.m.

Excellence Through Equity: Five Essential Ingredients for Creating Conditions that Promote Achievement for All Children.

While the movement for standards and accountability has largely succeeded in bringing greater attention to disparities in student achievement, surprisingly little attention has been given to what it takes to create conditions in schools that will make achievements for all students more likely.  Missing from much of the policy debate related to achievement is how to place “equity” at the center of education reform efforts, and how to support and cultivate effective teaching in schools. This presentation will describe five principles and practices that have proven effective in helping schools to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners. Strategies that make it possible to avoid zero-sum scenarios––leading some educators to believe that they must choose between the pursuit of excellence and equity––will also be presented.  Drawing upon research and several case studies, the presentation will show why an equity framework is essential for promoting achievement among all children.


Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA.  His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.  He is the author of eleven books and over 200 articles and monographs. He serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.  Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University (2003–2015) Harvard University (2000–2003) and the University of California, Berkeley (1990–2000). From 2009–2012, he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor.  In 2014, he was elected to the National Academy of Education.  Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.



#NYAR20 | March 8–11, 2020 | Hyatt Regency, Savannah, GA


Last updated: 4/12/2019