What an honor to be invited to hear and see students’ presentations for the last class of the business administration KPACE class today. I worked with them and the CNA and Welding students this fall nudging them along with writing skills. They started hardly knowing the elements of a complete sentence and ended up being able to write pretty wonderful – as in “awful” -examples of poorly written sentences for the final test for others to have to “fix.” They are quite the group. I see them going places and being such support for each other. They ran the gamut of emotions today – happy to reflective to chiding to having us all in tears. Twice in one week I’ve cried in public. Heavens! So I know this if affirmation for me that indeed as Rich and I have talked over several weeks and as Universe has shown me in various ways, this – being aware of opportunities and then mentoring and linking – is what I am supposed to be doing now. Following is a summary of the students’ comments. Margee, the instructor for this part of their education, was outstanding sharing insights about their talks and encouraging them, too.
S. the Zombie aficionado: “Nothing new is easy.” Fear is the number one pitfall that she identified but added, “I want to get out of this box into a better box.” She showed self effacing humor, used eye contact and had subtle background for her PowerPoint. What a coup to juxtapose quotes from her favorite Sci Fi Galactic movie – Never ever give up – with one from the current movie Lincoln on being positive.
M. went on a bit, but she is the “go-to girl.” She dispenses advice, rags on the others, has a terrific laugh and admits her faults and celebrates her strengths. She introduced herself, used humor and is a stitch to listen to with her non-standard English. “I had the right answers for everyone else but not for me.” “You reflect on the past and make changes for the future.” Analyze…keep moving on…don’t give up.” “Ignore the negativity. Positive is right around the corner.” “We women are strong!”
Sh. had great graphics of light grey with pink letters. Listening to others’ stories inspires her and helps her realize her world is pretty simple. Just this fall she rode the city bus for the first time ever! And, was she ever proud of that accomplishment. Still, she wants to do something for herself for once. To finish what she starts. The others chimed in that they’d kick her tusch if she doesn’t. And, then the conversation merged to how they can support each other on the larger campus of Kirkwood.
JS who recently passed her GED, is separated from her husband, has three children and a full time job. The flood year of 2008 was a fresh start. She is trying to do it all and at one point she thought, screw the college stuff, I’ll just do GED. But, Mialisa Wright with the KPACE program called her out and, “From that day forward I have not taken ‘no’ for an answer, either.” She is an ambassador for the program, has spoken to United Way funders and the KCC Board. She has visited with Timothy Charles at Mercy Medical Center about partnerships with the CNA and Business Administration programs.
D. who successfully lobbied for glasses so she can see the board, who has lacked confidence and now is right there doing programs in front of people. She keeps and reads the Optimist Creed and “Promise Yourself” page I handed out to students in front of her each day. It’s amazing to me that several students referred to things I had them do in class or the support I offered as positives in their lives. Just like with the Making A Difference students a decade ago, the women need someone who believes in them. I can be that person. So, this was wonderful to be part of.