Keynote Session: A Conversation with "Unlikely" Filmmakers Adam and Jaye Fenderson

About This Keynote Session

In the US less than 50% of students who start college ever finish, making America’s college completion rates among the worst in the world. Now there are more than 35 million Americans who started college but never finished, leaving them saddled with debt, and behind their peers in earning power. Featuring interviews with LeBron James, Howard Schultz, and our nation's leading voices in education, this penetrating and personal film investigates America’s college dropout crisis through the lives of five diverse students as they fight for a second chance at opportunity and highlights the innovators reimagining higher education for the 21st century. Join filmmakers Adam and Jaye Fenderson for a conversation about the making of the film and its implications for institutions, educators, and communities.

About the Keynote Speakers

Jaye and Adam Fenderson

Jaye FendersonJaye Fenderson (Writer/Director/Producer)
Jaye is an award-winning director and producer with credits spanning feature-length documentaries, commercial & branded content, and acclaimed shows for ABC, NBC, FX, Lifetime, and MTV. A former admissions officer at Columbia University and passionate advocate for college access and success, Jaye has  presented internationally at conferences, universities, and on Capitol Hill. The author of Seventeen’s Guide to Getting into College and a former college advice columnist for, her writing has also appeared in Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, and The College Access & Opportunity Guide.

Jaye holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from Columbia University. Her all-time favorite directing gig is being a mom to her four wonderful children.

Adam FendersonAdam Fenderson (Editor/Director/Producer)

With over 15 years behind the camera, Adam is an award-winning director, producer, and editor. His credits span feature-length documentaries, commercial & branded content, and acclaimed shows for NBC, MTV, Lifetime, Discovery, History, CNBC, and many other networks. As a filmmaker, he is driven by a desire to tell stories that entertain and have lasting impact. He is often brought in as a guest lecturer or documentary expert at universities and conferences across the country. He has been interviewed for media outlets including The New York Times, FOX, NPR, among others. 

Adam earned his BA in Film and Television at the University of Southern California. When he’s not making films, you can find him skateboarding around the streets of Santa Monica or watching his beloved San Francisco Giants.