blue dots background image


Sharing Strengths to Support Community Colleges

Last week I had the privilege of being the commencement speaker at Mass Bay Community College, one of 15 community colleges in the state. It gave me a new appreciation for the vital role of community colleges and how many are sharing the strength’s to help them succeed.

Mass Bay Community College is 50 years old. I met many faculty members who had taught there for three decades. Most have PhD’s and a lot of options in terms of where they could teach, but wanted to work with students who might not have the advantages and the opportunities of others who attend more elite schools. The board of course is all volunteer. And their extraordinary president, Carole Berotte Joseph, when inaugurated in 2005, was the first Haitian American college president in the country. She was born in Port au Prince, grew up in NY, and we met at a lunch hosted by the Haiti Fund of the Boston Foundation. This is her last year in Boston as she has been recruited by the City University of New York to become president of the Bronx Community College.

Some of the students are going on to four year colleges; others are heading to work in fields ranging from nursing to automotive maintenance. Some are single parents, and some of special education requirements. Many are of modest financial means and have overcome significant challenges to make it all the way to graduation. They have a refreshing sense of appreciation for what they’ve earned more than a sense of entitlement to it. For me it was an honor to be able to challenge them to share their own strength’s, to bear witness, to be a voice for those whose voices are rarely heard, and to have always seek to have the imaginations of unreasonable men and women.

Related News

Baby Brain Development
22 April 2024

RELEASE: Share Our Strength Provides Key Funding to State-Based Advocates to Support Food Security Policy Initiatives for Children and Families

Medicaid Food Security Network Addresses Food and Nutrition Insecurity with an Emphasis On Closing the Enrollment Gap in SNAP and...

Jeremiah Program: Baltimore Center
09 April 2024

Helping Kids by Helping Single Moms

Can you imagine how far kids could go if their moms weren’t worried about affording groceries or paying the rent?...

young children
14 March 2024

RELEASE: Share Our Strength Unveils Groundbreaking Investment of $6.7 Million to Advance Economic Mobility for Single Mothers and Their Children

Initiative to Address Root Causes of Food Insecurity and Financial Instability Through Partnerships with 28 Organizations [Media: For photos and...