Winston Churchill wrote, “If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.” This is sage advice for all of humanity and certainly pertinent during this time of graduation.
Prosperity, for many, is reflected only by the wealth individuals acquire over their lives. Prosperity for others has more to do with how their wealth impacts the lives of fellow sojourners. I am reminded of the phrase I use often in leadership development: “It’s not the what in life that makes a person, it’s the who.”
Johnston Community College is committed to developing the “who” in students. In turn, students show us who they are through excellent leadership and academic achievement culminating in graduation. The county’s Early and Middle colleges, for example, graduated about 100 students, most with an associate’s degree before receiving a high school diploma. Those graduates reported about $2.5 million in transfer scholarships.
Matthew Green, who graduated with high honors from JCC’s radiography program, received the Academic Excellence Award. Matthew was one of 75 students from around the country chosen to take part in the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ Student Leadership Development Program in Florida. He was a member of the N.C. Society of Radiologic Technologists and Phi Theta Kappa honor society and will be pursuing advanced studies in computed tomography.
The President’s Award went to Stephanie Cassidy, vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. Stephanie served Johnston Community College as a student ambassador and was an integral member of the Student Government Association, president of the Spanish Club and a member of TRiO Student Support Services. She graduated with high honors and has been accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology in the fall.
The Citizenship Award went to Steven Moore. Steven served the National Technical Honor Society as both vice president and president and was an active member of the Student Government Association. He was recently inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success. Steven served diligently as a student ambassador for JCC. He graduated with an associate’s degree in fire-protection technology and will go on to Fayetteville State University this fall.
Lastly, each year student government at JCC recognizes one graduate with the SGA Service Award. This award goes to a student leader who has rendered the most outstanding service to his or her fellow students. Ticardo Roberson was a member of the JCC Student Government Association Senate, the Minority Male Mentoring Program known as the R.I.T.E. Program and TRiO. He will continue his education at The University of Mount Olive.
Having looked into the eyes of every graduate as he or she crossed our stage, I have seen the who of each and I am reassured that our society will be in the good hands of those who will, as Churchill said, behave in peaceful and helpful ways. Thank you all for supporting JCC’s humanitarian efforts toward peace and prosperity.
David Johnson is president of Johnston Community College.