Although you look as cold as a prison, you are, to me, as comforting as a freshly baked brioche.
Do you feel this? Not the walls around you, but this vibrant energy? This whirlwind of hearts and smarts hard at work.
When I started at LBCC, I was starting my life from scratch. I was new to Oregon; I had not been in school in 10 years. I wasn’t sure about my path. I came to LBCC with a lack of confidence and the hope that education would improve my life. Well, little did I know…
In my three years here, I got to work the organic farm which soothed the overwhelming intellectual challenges and reminded me of my roots and the importance of being grounded. I had the honor to be a tutor to my peers which not only made me a more involved community member but a better student. I sent two scientific payloads to space. I helped people register to vote. I got to inspire kids to do cool stuff. I got an Associate Degree. I got an internship at NASA, and most importantly, I found confidence in myself and in the world. I re-discovered a dream that I am a little bit closer to today.
On a Friday morning this past April, I was in Newport visiting the research ship that will take us out at sea the day of the eclipse and that same day I was leaving with a group of LBCC physics students to visit LIGO, Hanford and PNNL (Google it if you don’t know what those are.) This is what LBCC is; an endless source of opportunities waiting to be realized. And I know it is not unique to the STEM department; I was lucky enough to represent the Co-Curricular Club Budget Committee, I witnessed the extraordinary things the welding department, the ag department, the art department, the DAC do for our community.
It is because of instructors like Parker Swanson, Greg Mulder, Brian Reed, and deans like Andrew Feldman; people who work twice as much as is required of them. Those people are changing the world.
LBCC is not just a community College, it is a community of strong dedicated inspiring people who have the only goal to see you succeed. Remember to be grateful.
Get involved, work hard, give it everything you’ve got, challenge your beliefs, and above all, be curious. Be curious about yourself, about the world that surrounds you. You will sleep later. Seize the moment and learn. Don’t give too much importance to your ego, your emotions; don’t give in to your introversion or your lack of confidence. Go out and explore the world, ask questions and have fun! Don’t stand in your own way. Do something that scares you, something you don’t think you’re capable of. Take a chance. Now is the time. You will learn and surprise yourself. It won’t be easy. You’ll cry, you’ll be tired, but it will all be worth it.
I won’t list each person who has helped me along the way because I know you know who you are. From the financial aid office to the learning center, the security office to the DAC, the library to the green house, THANK YOU. You guys are what is best in this world. I am forever grateful I stumbled upon what seems from the outside to be a prison and turned out to be the hidden, most stunning gem of all. Thank you for the love and dedication LBCC people, I’m taking it with me and spreading it as I go.
To all my teachers and to the staff for their talent and dedication, thank you. I will miss LBCC terribly. It has been home away from home. All those familiar faces that I was happy to greet every morning. You make LBCC the extraordinary community college that it is. You have transformed my life.
I have travelled and met a lot of people and communities in my life. LBCC you are special. I wanted you to know it.