Monday, February 21, 2011

Ballad of the Community College Student

In my twenty years of working in community colleges, I’ve had some pretty profound and memorable experiences that have shaped my commitment to and deep appreciation for the amazing role community colleges play in transforming the individual lives of students. Last week was a particularly powerful week for me – one that provided me with a variety of student interactions that, once again, surfaced the futility found trying to define the “typical community college student” and inspired me to organize the following profiles.

I am the honor student who prefers small classes
So many choices, but I choose to be here
First in my family to attend college
Breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty

I am the adult student who has no time
My child’s sick
My job is mindless
I have dreams for myself
I have bigger dreams for my children
So I model the way

I am the student with the unseen disability
Putting in extra hours just to get by
Determined to let nothing stop me
I overcome challenges every day
Others will never know

I am the student on the brink
I’ve made choices in my life – more bad than good
The consequences are more than I expected
I hope this will be the time
I make the change I need

I am the average student
Going through the motions – waiting for a spark
I don’t know my strengths so my dreams are small
My potential is beyond
Anything I can imagine

I don’t even know what I don’t know
All I do know is I just need something
I just need a…
strong shoulder, helping hand, warm heart, or caring ear
But most of all,
I just need a chance.

I hope I find it in you.

If you have any thoughts on this post, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.