For the first time in history, there is a growing national recognition of the vital role that community colleges play in America’s higher education system by preparing people for some of the most highly-skilled and high demand occupations in the 21st century.
On February 24th all sixteen of our colleges and the system office will partner with 37 African-american and hispanic churches throughout the state with an education opportunities are there and opportunities for jobs and opportunities to create wealth and opportunities for families in the future..
(NEWS CLIPS) Well thousands of potential college students are hearing the words
yes you can today a big push to encourage minority students to further their education and get a college degree. Historically African--american churches have always been the epicenter of African-american communities and so that's why we've chosen to go this route...
This Sunday is Super Sunday St. Stephen Church is teaming up with JCTC to encourage
students to get a higher education either go to college or go back to college
They drilled in us as little kids that we were going to college we would need to get scholarships to help pay for it but we were going to college they made it clear that graduating from
high school was okay but we were going to college.
(MUSIC) We've got to let young people understand that education is the key to building a better life.
the key to moving them from one socioeconomic status to another one
(MUSIC) We stress that
(MUSIC) "Yes you can...."
We care about you we want to know what your educational dreams are and then we want to help you
set a plan to achieve those.
(MUSIC) "Yes you can...." Super Sunday has been a tremendous event for us at Big Sandy
We've been involved with it for a couple years we've had students who have enrolled at the
college as a result of their attendance there. Our staff have been able to interact with
many of these students (MUSIC) We want them to understand admissions processes, financial aid,
career counseling all of the possible things that we can help them know and understand about
higher education so they can make good choices for themselves and their
families. We've partnered in something that we are passionate about and that is education.
I found it was an opportunity to get into a smaller classroom setting being able to focus on the academics which allowed me later to uh... transition to the main campus at UK (MUSIC) "You can make the decision..."It's an opportunity for us to reach out and show the community and the african-american community that it is possible to get a higher education and it is so important but it is possible (MUSIC) "Yes you can..." I have often ran into students that had no idea what to do next where to go that it was even time to a FAFSA form and it was time to apply for colleges
So Super Sunday has brought that all together (MUSIC) "You can do anything...yes you can."
We know that postsecondary education is big step in many families and for all members of the family, the parents along with the children to hear this information and then make this decision
which is major is important for us to continue this type of outreach.
Since ECTC was there I could keep my children close.
It would be much cheaper for them to be there and I could continue to mother them
and continue to you know...raise them, it would be easier for them to be closer to us
so we chose ECTC. (MUSIC) "Through my trials..."
When we reached out to the faith community what we realized is the faith community and the community college Gateway really had very much the same mission
in terms of making sure individuals understood education as well as their spirit life is important
uh... as a well-rounded human being it really made a real impact on both organizations
We're looking for success begin finishing your degree making it uh in the community and being prepared for going on to further education if that's what you desire. I had been out of school for twenty years actually and i had not thought about going back to community college or college at all, and Gateway was very inspiring as far as the things that they offered to encourage you (MUSIC) "No matter what..."
We have so many students in our region who don't think that a college education is possible
and through super sunday and events like this we have a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the students. (MUSIC) "No matter what if you can just conceive it, if you believe it then you can achieve it."
We work very hard in the Henderson community to be sure that every person regardless of culture has the opportunity to come to college and yet we find that african-americans are not as represented on campus as we would like them to be so having that extra partnership that extra push into a community
makes a real difference, The initiative when it came out really gave me an opportunity to get into the
community reach out to the community through our churches and address some of the needs and
hear some of the concerns of the parents about how to get in school what are the steps for financial aid and who do they need to see (MUSIC)
Well Hopkinsville is a very diverse city..one of the most diverse cities in Kentucky and what the event has allowed us to do is to reach out individually to all of the churches in our community particularly to our minority constituents and say hey you have an opportunity here (MUSIC) "Through your trials..."
These outreach efforts are extremely important and what we found is that we are able through Super Sunday to reach a large number of folks who without that effort would not have even thought about going back to college. (MUSIC) "Teach your children well..." What they learn is there are resources
and there are people at the college ready to roll out the red carpet to help them with with every need and overcome every obstacle. Our African-american enrollment has increased thirty eight percent over the last few years and our graduation rate is one of the top in the state (MUSIC) "Tomorrow just might be too late for that day of provision...make the decision..." In addition to getting to meet us...we getting to meet them that we will um... wear a face that says you can do this and college can start here higher education can start here... my life can change starting here. (MUSIC) Education is the vehicle to take our children from where they're at to where they can become in the future. (MUSIC) "You can make it...through your trials."
I hope that they will walk away with the knowledge that we are their local community resource for
higher education we are here to promote higher education workforce development and economic development that can help them and their families achieve better lives. We're that resource for them and we'll be there for them. (MUSIC) "Just try...just try...Yes I Can."
But it's amazing how many people really don't know what the college offers what opportunities are there and that it's possible for individuals who might not think that they could go college to find financial help and academic counseling there to get into a career that they would like to pursue.
I try to tell people that it does not matter where you are or where you started you can get a
college education and it's so important no matter who you are. (MUSIC) "Can you believe it..."
We have formed new friendships we have created new alliances. We have people now that are asking questions that never asked questions before so Super Sunday has really been a catalyst I think.
You learn the final techniques and even though you may be from eastern Kentucky like I was uh you get exposure they support you financially uh... spiritually emotionally. Times when I failed throughout life. (MUSIC)
Southeast prepared me basically for college life and what would be necessary for me to accomplish everything I needed to accomplish while in college. (MUSIC) "You can achieve it..." Super Sunday has allowed us to get into the churches, into the communities meet with individuals more than we've ever
been able to do before it's allowed us to work with the church community to set up programs in mentoring.
(MUSIC) "If you listen well, I'm here to tell you
you cannot lose.."
Despite the challenges and circumstances yes you can!
Despite the economic times yes you can!
With the help of God and the community college in your neck of the woods:
YES YOU CAN! Thank you. (APPLAUSE) MUSIC FADES OUT.