September is a time of new beginnings. Vacations are over, and we are back at our daily routines, our work, and, for many of us, our education. Kids wait for the school bus, excited, and eager for a new year of adventure. They feel the possibilities in the air.
Community college is part of that excitement, that feeling that dreams are possible, that each of us can keep growing and learning, becoming better equipped to live our lives, and make a difference in the world.
“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” — Oprah Winfrey
We’ve all seen lives change when young people go on to college, and adults return to the classroom, to gain new skills, and, more importantly, a new perspective on what we can achieve when we learn new ideas and gain new skills.
I recently took a young man to college, helping him to walk through the door, enroll in classes, and chart his path to a promising career. His big smile told me that continuing his education and challenging himself to grow and apply his skills in college was the right move for him.
Because of the generosity and thoughtfulness of charitable people in the community, he received scholarships to help with his student loans. His dream became a reality, and he is now on his path to achieve his possibilities. He felt valued, knowing that his education and his future were something that generous people think is worthwhile.
Already, he is coming up with new ideas and fresh approaches to the challenges of his profession. He will continue to build a strong community, and to give back what he has been given, a chance for a new life.
When we help fund a scholarship, no matter what the amount we give, we give a helping hand to young people like my friend, giving then a chance to improve themselves, a chance to fully realize their dream. We make a better community. Indeed, as Oprah Winfrey says, this is sacred work, being able to help a person transform their life.
I see the fruits of such generosity everywhere in our county, people working hard, raising families, and making a difference, all because they had the chance to go to college, and improve their lives. When we make that dream possible, when we give of our time, our encouragement, and money for a scholarship, each of us changes the world, one person at a time.
September is an exciting time, and a chance to make a difference in a person’s life, offering all of us a lifetime of rewards, and possibilities.
For more information about the TBCC Foundation and planned giving, contact Jon Carnahan or Heidi Luquette at TBCC, (503)842-8222 x 1010. http://tbcc.or.us and click on "foundation".
Neal Lemery is president of the TBCC Foundation, and a returning TBCC student.
(Published in the Tillamook, Oregon Headlight Herald, September 3, 2014