Welcoming Students to a New Academic Year

There is a level of excitement that accompanies the start of each fall semester. It is a time of hope, a time of possibilities. But it also offers a time for reflection. A time to consider where we are in life and where we hope to go. A time to think about the lessons we have learned and how to apply them in ways that allow us to move forward in positive and constructive ways.

I’ve heard people say that you must go through the darkness to grow into the light. That the challenging times are what make us stronger, more resilient, and more able to tackle whatever life throws our way. And from what I am seeing from our students, they are more than ready for their next chapter. And we are ready to help them be successful.

Our students have grit – proven by the fact that more than 11,000 Lorain County Community College and University Partnership are returning to campus this week to pursue their dreams. LCCC students don’t sit back and wait for things to change; they push forward to reach their goals, and we are here to support them on their journey to success.

Jamie Morrow struggled for years to finish her degree and reached her goal with support from LCCC’s Advocacy and Resource Center. After completing her associate degree, she set her sights on earning a bachelor’s degree and is currently enrolled in LCCC’s University Partnership program with Hiram College.  When asked about the lessons she hopes to instill in her children she said, “I hope they realize that no matter what mistakes you make, no matter how impossible a situation may seem, anything’s possible.”

Jamie Morrow wearing a black shirt
Jamie Morrow

Pablo Oquendo II was born with OCA2 (oculocutaneous albinism) with visual and hearing disabilities – as well as a fierce determination to achieve his goals. He earned at an associate of arts degree at the same time he graduated from Lorain High School in 2021 through LCCC’s College Credit Plus program. Along the way, he received support from his instructors at Lorain High and at LCCC, and also from LCCC’s Accessibility Services.

Pablo Oquendo II
Pablo Oquendo II

Like Jamie and Pablo, the LCCC students starting classes this semester are ready to work hard – and we are ready to support them. Our culture of care remains paramount to who we are as an institution and this past year has reaffirmed our deep commitment to meeting our students where they are.

So as we begin this fall semester, please join me in congratulating our students for their bravery, their dedication, and their willingness to step into the spotlight and focus on their education.

This is my video message I shared earlier today with LCCC students to welcome them to the new semester: