Hope can help keep us going
BCTC folks have happily settled in and began classes for Spring 2018 in the new Science Education Center at the Newtown Campus. Last January we moved into the Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Georgetown-Scott County Campus and began classes in that great new training space. New opportunities for STEM careers abound at BCTC! At all our campuses and throughout the BCTC community, faculty and staff work hard to help students secure an excellent education. The students are trying so hard to expand their knowledge, add to their understanding of the world, find a fulfilling career, get a good-paying job, and make their lives and others’ lives better. It is heart-warming to see students work hard to lift themselves up—with the help of dedicated faculty and staff. Sadly, sometimes, it is also heart-breaking to see hopes dashed and dreams deferred. For a variety of reasons, many students are facing challenges that we, the adults who are in charge in the world, created.
Society, politics, and government are being affected by a loss of trust, hyper-partisanship, break-down of civility, and huge differences among people in our ways of seeing the world. These differences are creating problems in the lives of students that we thought had been solved in earlier times. We encourage students to listen to each other and learn together, and we adults can do the same in our corner of the world. Some of us have a pulpit or social media, some belong to advocacy groups, some speak and march, and some do a great service just by the way they live their lives. All who can should vote. And we can recognize that now, more than ever, we can focus on our outlook and actions. Everything changes. We can make it better.
A recent Time (January 15, 2018) had feature stories on optimism, edited by Bill Gates. Ava DuVernay the Oscar nominated film director, wrote, “Hope has bred change again and again. To be hopeless disregards history.” One column was by Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Prize winning young Pakistani woman who was violently attacked when all she wanted was to go to school. She has turned into a fierce advocate for education. She said, “I think it’s pointless to be hopeless. If you are hopeless, you waste your present and your future.
Those of us who work with community college students see hope for the future. Of course, students have various points of view just as do people throughout US society. But hope comes from knowing that these are largely the people who will work hard as employees. They will care about their neighbors, families, and friends. They will care about the planet and all the people on it. No one has a lock on wisdom or clarity or resolutions to problems. Very few of us are always right or always wrong. We can all work for good as we know it and maintain hope for the future. As Ms. Yousafsai and others remind us, we cannot afford to be hopeless if we want change for the better. I hope your day is great, your career fulfilling, and your hope for the future secure!