June 2019 Update
As we go into the summer months, I would like to take a moment to reflect on our graduation ceremony and all that it represents to us as an institution.
This year, we saw an over 14 percent increase in both credentials and candidates for graduation. This is because of our college's commitment to empower students to attain their goals. We brought them here through recruitment; we helped them when they faced challenges; we provided the knowledge and experience they needed to succeed in their chosen fields, and we cheered them on along the way. More students reached their better lives because of BCTC.
Our commencement speaker, Susan Elkington, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, shared her story of hard work, commitment and the roles of the individuals in her life who believed in her. What a relatable story for our students and community! Ron Walker, our board chair, shared why he, and all of you, devote time and resources to our institution. Chair Walker and Ms. Elkington are phenomenal representatives of what community support means to BCTC. They, as do you, believe in our mission and the students we serve. Your support makes our work possible. You provide leadership, internships, scholarships and means to assist our students as they prepare for careers that will contribute to businesses and communities we serve.
Most importantly, the graduates on the auditorium floor represented the hundreds who have BCTC success stories. Students like Katherine Delgado, a first generation college student, received her AS degree and will receive her high school diploma next week thanks to our Opportunity Middle College and dual enrollment. "They told me it was possible to complete my high school and college degrees at the same time. I didn't really believe it," said Delgado, "but I did it!" Delgado will continue her studies in computer science at the University of Kentucky. Tania Delgado, her sister, also attended OMC in the inaugural class of 2009.
Another graduate, Aingaran Satchithanantham, took a different route to his goals. Satchithanantham came to the United States from Sri Lanka in 2016. While working on his language skills, he completed his GED® in only a month and began taking classes at BCTC. Despite the challenges that came with relocating to a new country, he stayed at the top of his class and became an active member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society. He will continue his education at the University of Kentucky studying accounting and finance.
Mishonda Bush, our new HR assistant and graduate, came to BCTC through our Ready-to-Work program and went further than she originally thought possible, earning an AAS in Administrative Office Technology in 2019. She credits faculty and staff who encouraged her to find her own path, gave her opportunities and made her believe in her abilities. Mishonda is a great addition to our BCTC community, first as a student, now as a staff member!
With these successes and many others in mind, we will prepare for the upcoming year, some of us on campus, some off campus. We're already seeing an almost 10 percent increase in enrollment as compared to this time last year.
In August, we will welcome new and returning students with a rejuvenated commitment to empower them to attain their better lives, one student at a time. This is an amazing journey that we are privileged to take with our students.
Please enjoy this link to a recap of our graduation and the BCTC stories it tells, and have a great summer!
Dr. Koffi Akakpo