This Friday I get to participate in one of the best parts of my job, graduation. I am proud to work at a community college because as much as any organization, we work every day to try and improve the lives of our students. Many community college students can barely afford to pay for the bus ticket that brings the to one of our campuses, but through education they are able to change their situation and make a new life for their families. I was blessed to have parents that encouraged education, to have friends that pushed me to succeed, and to have professors that challenged me every day and helped me press on even when I didn’t think I could make it. Not all of our students have had the same encouragement at home and from friends that I had. I do however know that the minute they step on a RCCC (or my former employer CPCC) campus they are built up, encouraged, coached, and cheered on to achieve goals they likely never thought possible. The accomplishment of graduation is something to be celebrated, and this Friday I can’t wait to applaud the success of our students and the great work of our staff. Thank you Dr. Michael Smith for being that professor who made such a difference for me. Although I am not a professor, but an administrator, I hope I can live up to the example you set and always be an advocate for our students. Happy Graduation RCCC students, and all of my friends who are graduating this time of year, well done!