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Join us today for a Passion-Driven post by guest blogger Vicky Hennegan, who uses technology and information to change lives. Enjoy!

Our Students Are Fighters

It’s that time again, late May, one of my favorite times of year. Looking outside from the overhead walk across, it looks like Mardi Gras. Colorful robes everywhere, making the two blocks between the college and the city auditorium festive and bright. Our students are at the end of one journey and beginning another. The happiness in their eyes is only overshadowed by the sense of pride you see as their loved ones look back at them. The energy is contagious. Each year i find myself thinking something like “My God, this is what it’s all about”. My spirit is practically jumping out of my chest with excitement. They have what they need to move forward in their lives and be successful. This day will not only change their life but the life of their family. My heart is filled with pride. I am so proud of our students and what they have accomplished, remembering again how it felt when I myself had experienced it. I think about how lucky I am to have played even a small part in making this happen. In their graduation robes they look successful already, like scholars in their caps.

“Whatever your discipline, become a student of excellence in all things. Take every opportunity to observe people who manifest the qualities of mastery. These models of excellence will inspire you and guide you toward the fulfillment of your highest potential.” —Tony Buzan

The students at Milwaukee area Technical College are far from being scholars, they are more. They are fighters who were unwilling to let whatever their situation was become the end of their story. Getting here was hard, but they chose and accomplished the happy ending of this chapter.

I know how many have gotten to this point, the series of roads they have travelled. The first step and each subsequent step they have made, all getting them closer to their ultimate destination. For some, those steps led to completing their GED, included a few precollege courses, and then they are only at the point where they can begin their degree. Many of these same students have family’s to support, part-time jobs, and are living on paper thin budgets. But I know they can do it, they are fighters.

They may not be able to join a sports team or hang out in the lounge shooting a game of pool, they need to learn how to study again, it’s been 15 years since they’ve been in school! They may be hanging out with classmates, grabbing a bite to eat and a quick study session before their next class. Some of their computer skills are non existent and attending a class for them is learning more than the content of the course. Other students may be here to get retraining after suffering an accident that lead to a disability. Hard issues to work through, but our students are fighters!

Vicky is @VickyHennegan on Twitter and  you can connect with her on her website Remarkable Parents.

Photo on Flickr by Grzegorz

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