During my more than 40 years experience working within higher education – specifically within the community college system – I have witnessed countless examples of the power of education to change lives. And, nothing is more effective than hearing directly from the source; people who have attended community college.
For example, Heather Binder, the Executive Director of Rebuilding Aurora, said “little did I know that it [Waubonsee] would open my eyes to an exciting career and spark such personal growth within me.” Recent graduate, Victoria Garcia of Venezuela, stated in a recent article from the Beacon News, “Looking back, these two years have given me so much confidence. We will see what happens in two years … but I feel like my future has been saved.” Another example is Anthony Bisgoni who passed all 8 Automotive Service Excellence and earned his Master Technician Certification while at Waubonsee. Also Caroline Amelse, who overcame many obstacles while at Waubonsee on her way to a career as a geologist. Caroline was recently recognized by the Illinois Community College Trustee Association and was presented their Pacesetter Award. And our 2019 Distinguished Contributor, Dr. Gina Santori, and Distinguished Alumnus, City of Aurora Chief of Police Kristen Ziman.
I began writing this monthly column in July 2010 making this month the beginning of its tenth year. While the format and vehicle have changed, I continue to enjoy each of these opportunities to present information and stories about community colleges and the people who have transformed their lives through the power of education. With commencement ceremonies recently completed, I look forward to adding the stories of Waubonsee’s newest alumni. Because of these stories, I can say with great confidence that there is great value in community college. This is confirmed every time I meet one of the more than 310,000 people who have attended Waubonsee in the last 52 years.