Celebrate CE!

(soft acoustic music) – Good morning! It is the morning. – T-Luke and the Tight Suits, everybody! Woo-hoo! How about that? (audience applauds) Thank you, boys! Oh snap, what do we got here? Look at this! Give yourselves a hand! You are awesome! (audience cheers) Go ahead and have a seat, unless you want to stand up
for the rest of the night, that’s all right. (laughter) I’m Jerry Miller. I’m the Senior Dean of Career
and Economic Development here at Santa Rosa Junior College. It is my pleasure and
honor to welcome you here to the fourth annual
Celebrate Career Education. (audience applauds) We’ve got a few people we’d
like to introduce today. Dr. Chong, if you would, introduce our Board of Trustees members who have come here today. – Thank you, Jerry, and welcome. I wanna introduce our Board
of Trustees, who’s here today. We have our President, Jordan Burns, and his lovely wife, Jennifer. Thank you for being here. Representing Sebastopol in West County. We have our Vice President,
Dorothy Battenfeld, representing Santa Rosa. (audience applauds) Maggie Fishman, South County
and Petaluma, where I live. We’re Petalumans. And, representing Sonoma Valley
and East County, Jeff Kunde. (audience applauds) And last, but not least,
our wonderful trustee, representing Santa Rosa, Don Edgar. (audience applauds) Did I get everybody? Yeah. – Thanks, Dr. Chong, and
I thank you very much for coming here. We love your support, and we really, really appreciate you being here. Also, here today, our Executive Director of the CTE Foundation of Sonoma County, Kathy Goodacre is here. (audience applauds) And, my counterpart, from the SCOE, Sonoma County Office of
Education, Steve Jackson. Thank you for coming, Steve. (audience applauds) So, hey, no rain. We’ve got that going for us. (audience cheers) Before we get started,
though, we wouldn’t be, you wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for the faculty that are teaching in our programs. Please, let’s give a
hand for all the faculty for coordinating these programs. In particular, I want to recognize a few faculty that are retiring. They’re leaving us after
this semester or in December. From Business, Breck
Withers, please stand up and stay standing. – [Audience Member] Thanks, bro. – From Theatre Arts, Maryanne Scozzari. – [Audience Member] Oh, thank you! – Maryanne’s here. From our healers, Carol Hatrick, (drowned out by echo) this year and of course, our PT, Deb Chigazola. Please stand if you’ve made it. (audience applauds) From Automotive, what are
we gonna do, Cliff Norton. I saw Cliff. Our farmers, growers, food providers, Leonard Diggs, our farm manager. How could we forget Chef Burgett and Chef Michael Salinger? (audience applauds) I wouldn’t be able to
go culinary (mumbles) without Michael Salinger. (audience applauds) Environmental Resources, Kasey Wade. (audience applauds) Information and Business Tech, Jeff Simon and Robert Caruso. (audience applauds) And for Education, Jeanie
Harmon and Paul Moosman, please stand. (audience applauds) Let’s give a warm welcome, this is 300 years of
service to Santa Rosa JC. Thank you very much. (audience applauds) You don’t look a day over, too. You look nice. Hey, I thought that we had
Senator McGuire, Mike McGuire, he’s a great friend of the college, he’s an alumni of the college, also one of our great trainers. He’s been working with Career
Education for many years and Assemblyman James Wood have given us a proclamation, a beautiful proclamation. If Dr. Chong and Vice President
Dr. Jane Saldana-Talley and Pedro Avila will come up, I’d like to read this
proclamation from Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood. Whereas Californians strongly desire the opportunity to attend public schools that provide exceptional
career education programs that encourage all students
to pursue their careers and aspirations to the fullest, and whereas Santa Rosa Junior
College Career Education focuses on providing students with– – It’s nice, huh? – Technical and soft skills necessary to help them be successful in the workplace. – Put it in Jerry’s office. – And it’s appropriate at this time to highlight its many achievements and underscore the positive impact it has made in our local
community and beyond, and whereas founded over 100 years ago by community leaders, SRGC is pivotal of a community in higher
education in Sonoma County, and over the past century has established a legacy of excellence, offering many diverse Career Education courses, programs that prepare students
for rewarding careers, strengthen their lives,
strengthen their communities, and the economy of Sonoma County. – And. – And. (laughter) Whereas the faculty, staff, administrators of Santa Rosa Junior College are committed to making education accessible to all. – Faculty, staff, and administrators. – In ensuring that all students
are equipped for success. – Yeah, that’s right,
there you go, all three. – Stronger together. – In their future endeavors,
SRGC Career Education helps students thrive in
the competitive workforce, enhance their current employment skills and transfer on to four-year universities. Santa Rosa Junior College is a leader in educating and training the workforce so the future awarding skill certificates, certificates of achievements,
associate degrees that are valued and
recognized by the employers and industry throughout the state. No and. (laughter) Be it resolved by Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Member Jim Wood that they take great pride in directing special public attention to
Santa Rosa Junior College Career Education for its
significant contributions to the students within the Sonoma County junior college district, and applaud the administrators and faculty for their untiring commitment to
preparing the workforce of the future. Joint members of Resolution
226, the 17th May 2019. How about a big round
of applause for that? (audience applauds) – Thank you. – Do you wanna say a
thank you or anything? Not a bad gift. – [Keith] Hi. – Hi. – Step aside please. – Step aside? – Please, please. – [Man] Take over please. – Hi everybody. My name is Keith Woods, I work in a place called the North Coast Builders Exchange. We work very closely with Jerry and with the college,
and I’ve been recruited to interrupt the proceedings here for just a couple of minutes. I can tell you the most nervous people in Sonoma County right now are Frank Chong and the trustees who have no idea what I’m doing up here. (laughter) – [Man] Security. – (laughs) Somebody’s calling security. I’m a long time friend
and admirer of Jerry’s, and I’ve been recruited to
take just two minutes here to tell you a little bit about Jerry and to present something to him. I’ve respected and admired
this man for decades. We are both proud Fresno State graduates. You are proud, aren’t you? – [Jerry] I am very proud, yeah. – Okay, I’m just double-checking. – [Jerry] Harvard of the West Coast. – Harvard of the West Coast. In fact, I have a friend who had T-shirts made up for the East Coast that said, “Harvard, the Fresno State of the East.” – [Jerry] Yes. – And I thought that’s
a nice T-shirt to get. Dr. Chong, the trustees,
all of you involved in the administration, the college itself rightfully gets a lot of credit for the single greatest
Career Education programs in the state of California. And give yourselves a round of applause. (audience applauds) The college receives credit. The trustees, the
administration, the faculty, the great students. But there is somebody that is
the wizard behind the curtain. Just like the Wizard of
Oz, somebody’s back there, not seeking or even
getting the recognition and credit they deserve for a program that I’m so proud of
from a distance watching. And how do I know the
program’s successful? Look at this. Look at the person next to you. That’s how successful
this program has become. Our wizard rarely gets acknowledgement, never seeks it, but today
we’re gonna correct that. Thanks to our great state
senator, Mike McGuire. Wait a minute, picture? (laughter) I got one more that I like a lot. No one more, go ahead, take it. (laughter) – [Jerry] That’s the best one. – Thanks to Senator McGuire who’s just so responsive to our community,
there’s a second resolution. I won’t read it all, I’d like a round of applause for that. (audience applauds) I’m not gonna read it, but I want you to see what I’m about to
present to Jerald P. Miller. – [Man] Who? – That’s Jerry. That’s him. I’m not sure if you even know it. Jerry started in August
of 1993 as a full-time faculty member, made a transition from faculty to administration, and he became Senior
Dean of Career Education and Economic Development in 2013. And this event here, this is his creation, and it’s about time we recognized it. I’ve been recruited to do this. Might have been somebody else, could have been anybody else, but Jerry, can you come back up
here please for a moment? (audience applauds) I’ll just hand it over to you. I won’t read it all but I’m gonna tell you what Senator McGuire, bless him for this, it says at the bottom,
“Jerry’s living legacy “for Career Education at
Santa Rosa Junior College “is the Celebrate Career
Education ceremony “at the end of each school year. “It honors students who complete Career “and Workforce Development certificates.” This is the important part. “The celebration that he created “to recognize success
of students completing “certificates and their
contributions to our community. “During his tenure here,
over 24,000 certificates “and degrees have been
awarded because of the work “of this man and his staff
on behalf of the college.” So ladies and gentleman, and by the way, if you wanna know who to blame, I’m not gonna say who’s
responsible for this, but their names are Nancy and Audrey. Just so we’re clear
and you won’t blame me. Jerry Miller. – You I like. – Jerry Miller, not only do you have my congratulations, the
Senator and the Senate, but you’re about to get a standing ovation from almost a thousand people. On your feet for Jerry Miller! (audience cheers) – Yeah! – Thank you so much, I appreciate it. – (mumbles) – I appreciate it so much, yeah. – Now you can go back to business. (laughter) – Oh shit. That’s… There’s only one person that can call me Jerald P. Miller, and she’s
sitting in the front row. You surprised the hell out of me. Now you’ve got me all
verklempt and flustered. Thank you very much, but it isn’t me, it is a team and a family and all of you students who are here now, welcome to the bear cub family. Once a bear cub, always a bear cub, as I was in the 70s also. So congratulations to you,
and thank you very much. I appreciate that, that’s. (audience applauds) Oh crap, this isn’t good. Any-who. Let’s get back to why we’re really here. Oh my goodness gracious. Our keynote today, our
keynote speaker’s coming back. He was our very first
keynote four years ago. He’s a bestselling author,
featured White House speaker, has been acknowledged by
President Barack Obama. Inc. Magazine calls him
a high energy motivator, named in their top entrepreneurs list. He’s the poster boy from
a rags-to-riches story, America’s top young speaker,
said Essence Magazine. Growing up in the projects of Brooklyn, witnessing murder and imprisonment, college became his ticket out of poverty. After college, this man
built a multi-million dollar event production and education company. Now as a professional speaker has spoken to over 400,000 people, 401,000 people, in 48 states, five countries. For fun, this guy likes
to dance and perform at Madison Square Garden. He actually has two viral videos, one at the Ellen DeGeneres Show. We all love Ellen. Please put your hands
together for my friend and the man we wanna hear. Welcoming back to 2019 Celebrate CE, our keynote speaker, Arel Moodie. (audience applauds) – So I would like to share with you the single most important idea that I could share with you
today, but the best way I can share it with you is
by playing a little game. So we’re all about to play
a game in a few moments. I’m gonna show you how the game works, and it involves math. (audience booing) I was, yes, okay, so. Here’s how it’s gonna work, okay? In a moment you are
gonna choose a partner. The best partner’s probably
the person sitting next to you. If it’s easier for you to stand up, go ahead and do so when I ask you to. If not, you can stay in your seat, but you can’t let your
partner see what you’re doing. Here’s what we’re gonna do. When I ask you to, you’re going to choose a number between one and
10 on both of your hands. One to 10, whatever number you choose. When I count to three, I’m gonna ask that you turn around and show that number to your partner. Your goal is to add up the total amount of numbers on your hand
and the total amount of numbers on their hand
and be the first person to say the total number. So for example, if I can borrow
you, if you’d be so kind. We’re gonna to back to back. On a count of three,
we’re gonna turn around and you’re gonna show me some numbers. One, two, three. And I have three and she has four, so I’m gonna say seven. Now, if you say the wrong answer, you automatically lose that round. So you can’t turn around and be like, four, six, nine, 12, ah! Right, you have to just
say the right answer the first time. Now, we’re gonna do a couple
of rounds so it’ll be easy. So if you could be so kind,
please all that can do so, please stand on up please. Wonderful. Now, please choose your partner and go back to back to your partner please. This is gonna be good. If you got a odd number, you can do three. If you cannot stand for any reason, you can still participate. Now remember, on the count of three, you’re gonna flash them your numbers. Hold them up. Don’t just flash them and take them down, hold them up. First person to answer correctly wins. If you answer incorrectly
you automatically lose that round so make
sure you’re confident with your answer. Let’s give it a go. We’re gonna do a few rounds. Here’s round number one. On the count of three please turn around and show it to them. One, two, three! How did we do? Good? Simple? All right, turn back around,
choose a different number. Okay, here we go. Turn back to back again. – I’m worried about student services. – (laughs) All right,
one the count of three I want you to turn around
and show it to them. Here we go. One, two, three. Ooh. All right. If there’s a tie-breaker, this
is gonna be the tie-breaker. One last time, let’s make it good. If there’s a tie-breaker, this is it. On the count of three, please turn around and show it to them. One, two, three. (laughter) All right, give that person a high-five, let them know they’re awesome. Grab a seat. Good job. Excellent. (laughs) Was there anybody’s level of anxiety that went really high? You was like, math, my
lord, I turned my brain off! Why would you ask such a thing? Okay. Now, here’s what’s
fascinating about this game. I really like this game
for a lot of reasons, because what you saw in the audience today is this representation
of what I think life is. We all was presented with a game. A simple game. Now, for some of you,
immediately you said, math, I’m not playing that game. I’m not participating. I’m not gonna let people
know I only use calculators. It’s a wrap, okay? Immediately, some of us took
ourselves out of the game. Immediately. Now, some of us, we said okay, I’m not good at math
but I’ll figure it out. And each round, you got
better and better at it. Fantastic. Some of us not so much,
apparently. (laughs) It was like, I was just throwing it out, I was like, “Apple!” I don’t know, I’m just
gonna throw a fruit, see what happens, right? Now, here’s what’s interesting. Some of us, we may not have
gotten better each round, but some of us chose to
disengage from the game and go, “Well I’m not good
at it, so let me just stop.” Some of us said, “I’m not
really good at the game, “but it doesn’t matter,
I’m still gonna have fun.” Some people, you tried
to trick your partner. Did anybody throw up your
fingers in weird ways like that? Right, you’ll be like, you’re
not gonna get this number! Right? Hopefully no one threw up one finger. I know someone thought about it. At least considered it. Now, did anyone, as each round went on, you started coming up
with a different strategy in your head? You’d be like, all right,
I’m gonna go with four so all I have to do is
add four to their number. Then you turned around and be like, “Ah, I’ve forgotten my number!” But if you noticed, if you
were engaged in the game, if you did not give up immediately, if you chose to come up with a strategy, whether you won or lost, you had fun. You were engaged with it. Now, there are some of us who said, “I’m not playing a game. “I’m an adult.” So you chose not to engage at all. Now, here’s the thing, my friends. That is life. Especially in this moment as you’re going into this new chapter. We were all in the same place at the exact same time
with the exact same rules. Some of us chose to take this
game differently than others. Now, here’s what I do know. How you chose to approach
it was the deciding factor in whether you had fun
or whether you thought that was a waste of your time. Now, there’s a percentage of you, and I’m okay with this, that thought that was a complete waste of your time. And there’s a percentage of you thought that was so much fun, you can’t wait to do it with your kids when you go home. We’re gonna learn math today, all right? What’s the difference? It has nothing at all to do with the game. It’s got nothing at all to
do what was presented to you, and it has everything to do with how you chose to interact with it. I believe how we do anything
is how we do everything. How we approach anything is
how we approach everything. I would encourage you to look at this, at every moment and say, “I have no idea “maybe what path I’m getting into. “I have no idea what life can hold for me, “but here’s what I know. “The game doesn’t matter, what matters “is how you choose to respond to it.” I cannot tell you what’s
gonna happen in your life. As we all experienced
here, there are things that happen that are totally
outside of our control. Whether it’s nature, whether it’s death, whether it’s sickness, whether it’s things that you couldn’t even
plan for if you wanted to. But here’s what we always
have 100% control over. How we choose to react
to what happens to us. How we choose to take
actions regardless of what we may think is good or bad, we say, I control who I
am in every situation. And here’s the thing, you have no idea what step or what action is going to lead to the moment that you hit that jackpot that you want in life, whatever
your definition of that is. You know, when I started
out, when I was in college I got really into entrepreneurship. Shout out to my Entrepreneurship
people in the front. I see you, okay. Some people, one person in the back? Thank you, okay. We gotta stick together apparently, right? But it was interesting ’cause when I knew I wanted to started a business, the very first business I wanted to start was actually a food truck. ‘Cause I thought college
kids love partying. They get hungry at night. Let’s create a food truck. Super expensive apparently to start that. I had no money, I was broke. So I was like, well I can’t do that. I was like, ah, but do I
really wanna sell greasy food? Probably not aligned with my values. So I said, well what is
aligned with my values? I was like, I know. On our campus we don’t have
fresh juice and smoothies. Let’s create a fresh
juice and smoothie bar for my campus, ’cause all we had really was soda, juice, water, that kinda stuff. So I got really excited about it, but then my campus told
me, well, you can’t do that ’cause we have a contract with the soft drink company, so we can’t allow anybody else on campus to sell, so you can’t do that. And I got really bummed out about it ’cause I thought this was
gonna be the genius idea. Now, as I’m planning this idea and putting the business plan together
and trying my best to make this work, I totally forgot to find a place to live off campus. So the semester ends,
and now I’m homeless, and I’m running around saying, how do I find a place to live? There was no easy way to
do it when I was in school. That problem sparked the
idea that I should start a business, a website that
helps college students specifically find housing
and then roommates and then sublets if they needed to. So that became the
business that I started. And as I ran that business, if anyone’s ever started a business,
you know that first business you actually start, it sucks. It just doesn’t go the
way that you want it to. It just doesn’t, it’s life. So what happened is I got into
a lot of credit card debt. I thought this was gonna
make me a multi-millionaire and my life was gonna be
set, and it was the opposite. I got into this really
dark, depressing place. During that time, my
then-girlfriend, now wife, wanted me to feel better
so she got me a book. It was a book on student entrepreneurship, and I was a student still at the time, and I read it and I got
really motivated by it, and I was so appreciative of the author for writing it, I reached out to him and I said, “Thank you so
much for writing this book. “It helped me get out of a dark place. “I just wanna say thank you. “You said in the book
to reach out to people, “so that’s what I’m doing.” To my surprise, the author
writes back and says, “Thank you so much for reading the book, “it means a lot to me.” And I’m like, oh my god, he responded. So I said, let me just shoot my shot. Who knows what’s gonna happen here. “Would you like to meet up?” He goes, “Sure.” I get super excited, I meet
him, we create a friendship. A couple years later, we actually start a business together. That becomes the education
and event-planning business that becomes the million-dollar business, and literally, I had no idea that when I started this journey,
I needed to go through all those iterations
and all those failures to lead me to what
actually changed my life and the life of my children and hopefully all of our descendants. Because what I think life
is like at this point of where you are is, it’s a hallway. And if you can imagine
a hallway that has doors on each side, you might look at the end of the hallway and say,
that’s the door that I want. So you take a step forward. And then you take another step forward. But now that you’ve
stepped towards the door, there’s a new door that you can see here. Can you see this in your minds? So imagine a hallway. There’s a door that
that’s the one you want, but because you stepped forward you realize there’s a new
door that is on the side that you couldn’t see
from this starting point. So what I want you to remember is, it’s okay if you don’t know
what your next step is. And it’s okay if what
you do doesn’t work out the way you thought it would. What matters more than anything else is that you keep moving forward because you have no idea what opportunities
will present themselves. And I’ll give you a little bonus for anyone who’s
interested in figuring out how do I make better decisions? Should I take this job,
should I take this job? Should I move here or should I not move? Here’s one of the best
ways to make a decision to help you on this process. A lot of times the way
most people make choices is they say, what’s the benefits? What’s good, what’s bad? Instead I encourage you to ask this. If I made this choice,
what would my regrets be? If I made this choice,
what would my regrets be? And whichever one is
the least regretful one, that might be the great choice for you. But it starts with you
deciding how will you interact with life now that
you’ve achieved this goal? And you can choose to
be one of three people moving forward. Some of you have already
chosen to be these people, but you didn’t realize
it, but now you will and moving forward it’s your choice. There are three kinds of people. The first is the egg. Now, you take an egg, and let’s take a big old pot of boiling water and let’s say that that boiling water represents the difficulties,
the struggles of life. By the way, if life hasn’t been getting easier for you, welcome to the club. It’s not gonna get easier,
you just get better. Does that make sense? So let’s say the pot of water
represents the struggles. So it’s boiling, it’s hot. You take an egg, for my culinary folks. You put that egg into the boiling water. What happens to the egg? It turns into a? Hard-boiled egg. Basic breakfast 101. Were some of you unaware that it turns into a hard-boiled egg? They was like, it does? I thought it was an omelet! Okay. That’s not the culinary folks, it’s okay. So here’s what’s interesting. That egg, when exposed to
heat, it hardens on the inside. It turns to a hard-boiled egg. This represents the person that when life gets difficult, they harden on the inside. They become sarcastic. They become mean. They become bitter. They don’t want to try. They don’t believe in themself. They don’t believe in others. They think, they look for everything that’s wrong, versus seeing everything that could be and is right. There’s the egg. Some of you when you leave here, you’re gonna go directly
into the dream job. Fantastic. Some of you are gonna go directly into a four year institution, fantastic. Some of you are not gonna know what you wanna do and maybe
you might take a path that you don’t love. Fantastic. There’s always a purpose to it as long as you don’t harden on the
inside and become an egg. The second kind of person is a carrot. You take a carrot, you
take that exact same pot of boiling water
and you drop that carrot in the water and you let it sit there, what’s gonna happen to
the carrot over time? Oh, it’s gonna turn to mush. It’s gonna go soft. This represents the person who starts out with really good intentions, the carrot’s really firm, isn’t it? But when it gets that heat, softens up. This represents the person that says, I tried once and it didn’t work so what’s the point in trying again? They turn to mush. This is the person that when they’re in a meeting and they have something really smart to say, they don’t because they don’t trust their own self any more, because the difficulties of life made them question who they are. This is the kind of person that when they leave here they say,
I got the certificate, wasn’t everything supposed
to open up for me? How come it hasn’t yet? And then they turn to mush. But there’s a third kind of person, and it’s simply a decision. And you can choose to be that person starting today, regardless
of where you go, regardless of what happens to you. Now you take that same
pot of boiling water, but this time what happens if you put a coffee bean in that
pot of boiling water? Turns to coffee, doesn’t it? What happens to the water
when the coffee bean gets put into it? It gets changed. In the first two scenarios,
the egg and the carrot, they are affected by the environment. The coffee bean affects the environment. It adds energy to it, it
needs the heat of life to bring out the best that is in it. Here’s what’s even more
interesting about coffee. What happens if you take a coffee bean and you just pound it and grind it and crumble it up and then you
submerge it into the water? It’s even more effective. You have a choice to say that regardless of what life gives me,
I’ve got the training, I’ve got the skills, I’ve got the tools, you’ve put in the work. Do not doubt who you are. But you have to decide who you will be when life gives you its heat. You can either choose to be the carrot, you can choose to be the egg, or I hope you choose
to be the coffee bean. Thank you. (audience applauds) In fact, choosing to be
the bean is so important, and we think education is so important that I’d like for you to do something. In your pamphlets there is a bookmark. Go ahead and grab that for me
if you haven’t seen it yet. That is a gift from Santa
Rosa Junior College, because they care about you making sure you always remember who you really are, who you can be in any situation, because you control how you to respond. You control what you bring. You can’t control what happens to you, and I hope moving forward
you choose to be the bean. So do me a favor, look at
the person next to you, stare into the windows of their
soul and say, “Be the bean.” Some of y’all like, but I
love being the egg though. Don’t! It’s destructive, okay? And I’ll tell you what. Where’s Audrey? Where’s Audrey? She’s in the back. Can everyone turn around? Audrey, wave your hand,
they can’t see you. Can we get a round of applause for Audrey? Let me tell you why. (audience applauds) When you talk about a coffee bean, she represents the person
that where she goes, she affects the environment. She brings an energy to it. Jerry Miller is another one
of those great examples. The people who decide to make a difference based on who they are and
what life means to them versus what life throws at them. These are the individuals that I think represent at a deep level. Dr. Chong is a great example as well. You have great leadership. You have great examples. You have great opportunity. Most importantly, by
the people who came here to support you today. By the people who are watching
this on the live feed. Moving forward, it’s a simple decision. Will you choose to be the bean? Thank you for your time. (audience applauds) – [Jerry] Great job, man. – Thank you very much. – Arel Moodie everyone, Arel Moodie. A big hand for Arel. (audience cheers) I have a bag right there. We have some, I had a bag for him, I guess somebody ran off with it. I have a bag of schwag. Oh. I have a bag of schwag. Green eggs and ham. For you, we have a shirt, one of our Celebrate CE shirts,
Experience is Everything. One I have on here, but it will look much nicer on him ’cause
he’s in much better shape than I am. And of course, a water bottle,
Experience is Everything, because experience is everything. And we got you a program,
but most importantly, you got the first inaugural medallion. Please allow me to give you
the second inaugural medallion. Thank you very much. (audience applauds) – That’s very thoughtful. – I appreciate it, thank you. Great message, yeah, be the bean. We’re going to now introduce our students, and we’ll have our
supervisors and administrators come up for each group and they will acknowledge the students,
and they’re gonna tell you a little
something about themselves so that you can witness
what Arel was just saying. Take that leadership and how we got to where we are today. So I think starting off
from Child Development, Director of Child
Development, Malesse Warner. – [Man] Yeah, Malesse. – [Other Man] Yeah, Malesse! – So these are working? Yay, they’re working. Hello everyone, yes, my
name’s Malesse Warner and I’m the Director of
Early Childhood Education and Teacher Development. So, we’ve been asked to do our own story in five points and in a
short three minute time I’m gonna try and do this and talk slowly. Arel did his story, and
I’m gonna give you mine. I was born in Lake County
to a single homeless teenage mom who dropped
out of high school at 14. So you know, Child
Development, working forward, where did I come from? My mother then actually
found me a great father and I ended up being the
oldest of seven siblings. They were born around the
time starting when I was 12, so I basically had a daycare at home taking care of all my siblings. Life didn’t get that much easier for me. School was really tough. Actually, when I was in eighth grade, I could barely read at
a second grade level. So I was diagnosed with
a learning disability, and school and life seemed like, how am I gonna get through this? But I pushed forward and I refused to let that hold me back. I told people I was smarter than I was, than they thought I was,
and with the support of programs like DRD here at the JC, I pushed my way forward. I pushed through high school. I pushed through college, and I actually have two master’s degrees now. (audience cheers) Thank you. I didn’t let anything hold me back. I tried to be that bean, I
put myself out there, right? And then after I completed my education, I was living on the Mendocino Coast with my family out in that area, and I decided I needed
to help my community. So I started working with the California Rural Indian Health Board and I helped to start Tribal Head Start. Ho, here we go, yes. (audience cheers) It was great, go CRIHB. And then after, during that program, I was like, I need to help
other students like myself, other college students
achieve their goals. So I set a goal for myself to push forward and help college students,
and that landed me here at the Santa Rosa Junior College to help the SRJC students towards
their own personal goals. So I’m very happy to be here. Now, students of the Teacher Education and Child Development
department that are getting certificates in Associate
Teacher and Teacher certificates, please stand up. Please stand up, come on. Everyone, stand up. We got sashes on. And your escorts, we
have the faculty members. We have Alice Hampton, Paul Moosman, Jeanie Harmon and Linda
Maloney, please stand up. So big round of applause for them. (audience applauds) So what I’d like to say to everyone, I want you to believe in yourself. Keep applying yourself every day and if you hit a roadblock, push forward. Find support systems in your community and work towards your goals. We are behind you holding
you up towards your future. Thank you everyone. – [Man] Beautiful. (audience applauds) – Thank you Malesse. You just heard Malesse’s
path to this platform. This is mine. I am Deborah Chigazola,
Dean of Health Sciences. I started as a college track
student in high school, but nearly gave my
counselor a heart attack two weeks before graduation
when I informed him, I’m not going to college,
I’m getting married. You know, I’m 18 years old,
I know everything, right? In addition, my parents told me they didn’t really have the funds for me to go to college. That really only boys
need to go to college. So I went to work, and after working a year and a half in a dental office, I decided I needed to go to college to earn a degree in healthcare. As a first-generation college student from a lower middle-class family, I graduated from Sacramento City College. It took me five years to get through the local community colleges, but I earned my associate degree in dental hygiene. After passing my National
Board Dental Hygiene, it gave me the confidence to move forward and support myself in
a career in healthcare. I got divorced at that period of time. I continued on with school, working with dental hygienists and completing my bachelor’s degree in health and safety with an emphasis in community health. After that I met my current husband, Don, and when we were newlyweds
we moved here to Santa Rosa. I got involved with volunteer work through the Redwood Dental
Hygienists’ Society, served as President and many other roles, including a liaison to
the dental program’s taskforce here and advisory board at Santa Rosa Junior College. I continued to work full-time
as a dental hygienist. This led to an opportunity
to teach as an adjunct, get my master’s in education,
become a full tenured faculty member here and current role as Dean of Health Sciences. So it is my pleasure to
introduce the students in the following Health Science programs, along with their faculty escorts. So please stand. Certified Nurse Assistant,
Cheri Labrador, and students. Dental Assistant and Dental
Hygiene, Carol Hatrick, Cheryl Smith, Jennifer Poovey, Jennifer Apocotos-Kirk and Cindy Fleckner. Certified Dietary Management
and Dietary Technicians, Jill Harrison, Jill Tarver
and Tammy Sakanashi. Medical Assisting, Katherine
Slusser and Ron Redmon. (audience cheers) Pharmacy Technician, Dr. Ahmed Deen. Healthcare Interpreter, Ron McDowell, and Vocational Nursing, Dr. Scott Meehl. Please all stand up. (audience cheers) So humor me, since Jerry said I’m retiring I call this my words of wisdoms are to strive to make a difference. You have so much to offer the world with your unique person and skills. It has worked for me to follow my heart and stay involved and
connected with your community, which includes SRJC. Seek out your path because
you can make a difference. Thank you. (audience applauds) – Hello everybody, my
name’s Randy Collins. I’m Associate Dean with the
Public Safety Training Center. Please excuse the flamboyant
nature of my garb, but I could not think of a
more appropriate ensemble to represent the Public
Safety CTE programs that operate out of the
Public Safety Training Center at Windsor. And Public Safety groups,
would you please stand? All right. (audience applauds) Just some of the groups include the EMS, Probation, Law Enforcement, Park Ranger and Corrections Academies, Children in the Criminal Justice System, First Responder, EMT, Paramedic Programs, and of course, wait
for it, Fire Academies. (audience applauds) Please give these graduates
a round of applause. (audience applauds) And you may be seated now. When I contemplate the
CTE Public Safety programs we deliver, I’m really
reminded of the words of Mark Twain who famously said, “I never let my schooling
interfere with my education.” Well, let’s face it. Where else can you get college credit, earn a certificate and
have a job placement rate exceeding 90% for
learning how to take down a bad guy, treat accident victims, be taught how to drive an ambulance or squad car, and of course, learning how to extinguish a
vegetation or structure fire? To give Mark Twain his
credit, this is not schooling. This is education, and we’re talking the fun and exciting kind. The kind that gives you the skills to bring order to chaotic situations, and the satisfaction that every day you will be helping people on what is probably their worst day of their lives. Now, I stand here today as someone who’s been blessed to have experienced a long public safety career even though the fire service I entered 39 years ago is much different from the one today. But the path I chose to get there is very much the same that you’re facing. I began my career by
walking into a fire station to offer my services when I heard they were looking for volunteers. At that time, I was working full-time, attending college at night,
and my soul intention was to serve the
community, not the pursuit of a professional firefighting career. Until I graduated, I received a job offer out of the area. I served that department
and found it so rewarding. I became a volunteer firefighter in the community where
I landed my new job. And when I began to lose interest in the field I studied,
if you can believe that, I became a volunteer firefighter, or when I began to lose interest in that field, I began to pursue with no doubts that I wanted to become a firefighter and I returned to school to get my EMT and fire science degree. The next step was to
begin applying for jobs in what was then a very competitive field. I often found myself
in a convention center with 500 other candidates
taking hiring exams, but persistence paid off and 18 months after testing with scores of agencies, I landed two jobs in the exact same day. Now, to end on a serious note, what was true for me pursuing that career 36 years ago is even more so today with things like climate
change and the new abnormal that is upon us, and that many of you have experienced personally. This, however, has resulted
in an increased demand for all public safety personnel, which equates to more job
opportunities for you. So the lesson here is,
if you are persistent I have no doubt you will be successful, and if you are choosing
a public safety career, you will be selecting one
of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Thank you. (audience applauds) – [Man] Well done. – Hi everyone, my name’s Li Collier. I’m the Senior Dean of
Counseling and Student Success. You just heard Randy’s story there. Here’s my path coming to the stage. I was born in Shanghai, China. I grew up in a family
where both my parents worked in factories, sometimes at night, sometimes day, and the family of seven lived on about $715 worth of
total income, seven people. And we lived in a tiny apartment. No heat in the winter and no
air conditioning in the summer. It was miserable in those weathers. But my sister and I,
and we have three kids in the family, my older
brother three years older, and he always liked to
do lots of crafty things. My sister and I were more bookies. We liked books and we got every book that can come to our
way, we just devoured. And we didn’t have toys, no TV, nothing. My mother made our clothes, everything. And every year she makes
a Chinese Lunar New Year as a time you can get your new clothes. So she will make clothes that
the sleeves are this long, so next year you come a little bit closer. The third year, it’s perfect. And it’s baggy too. (laughter) But we loved it. We treasured and we put those clothes away after New Year so next year
it can look still pretty new. But our family’s really, really
supportive that our study. My mom and dad, they never said to us, why are you keeping on reading books? Why don’t you do this or that? But we did our duties and
we did all the house chores and everything, we did, but we spent the rest time in studying and reading. In the hot summer days when we have no air conditioning,
sitting in the narrow alley we called it riding the coolness, ’cause we have a little bit breeze outside your little, tiny apartment. And my sister and I loved to play a game. And one of the games,
it’s called a game of 24. Game of 24, it’s a number game. So I love a game, when you
said that, let’s play the game. So the game is we choose,
each of us have two cards, and we lay out the card at the same time, and what these four
numbers in front of us, we need to figure out ways to come to 24. Whatever way you can come. Three times eight, four times six, and three times five plus
nine, whatever way you come. So we trained ourselves,
we loved that game. Now, in the cold weather,
we lie under the blankets and we played word
games and thinking about the idioms we have learned and
try to patch them together. So we loved, we made a
time for whatever we could at that time, and our
efforts really paid off. At that time college wasn’t even a choice, but luckily by the time
we got to high school, we got a chance to take a very rigorous national college entrance exam, and if you do well, you can
get to college for free. We both did. My twin sister and I, we got
exact the same points total for the seven subjects. It was three grueling whole days. It was hard, seven subjects
in three whole days, and some people just
fainted under heat stroke. But we persevered, we
got into the college, but now the time is to accept it or not. My sister was adamant, she always wanted to study chemistry, and she got into the university of her dream. I got into the engineering school that I wanted to do
design, but at that point whether to go or not, looking at how much cost it still will be
for food and everything, I wavered. I was wavering between going to college and just go work in a
factory like my parents did. I don’t know much I
think my parents talked and then did. After a few days my
mom came to me and say, “It won’t be fair, you
two worked the same hard “and got the same score,
you both were good students, “and she goes to college
and you go to factory, “your life won’t be the same.” And my mother, she didn’t
got to school at all. And my father got to about fifth grade. So I was just, every
time I think about that I think about the sacrifice
my parents have made to support us go to, both
kids to go to college with such a poor family, no… No financial income to really support us and I really, really,
really appreciate it. And I think each of us in our lives, we have some people support us, right? You have worked hard to come to this stage and you just need to persevere
and follow your dream. So I’m here to ask
students in Human Services. We have Advocacy certificate and we have also Alcohol and Drug. Will you please stand up? (audience applauds) All right. And we have fabulous faculty, Jerry Thao. Yes. So congratulations for your achievement, and you have worked hard to come to today, and I want to encourage you. Continue to follow your dream. Follow your heart. – [Audience Member] Yeah you will! – Yes. And you keep in your mind, you have people in your life who will always support you. So best luck, best luck
for your future endeavor. Congratulations. (audience applauds) – Good job. – My name is Benjamin Goldstein and I am the Dean of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Culinary Arts. So I’m gonna follow… (audience cheers) Yes. Oh, there’ll be some time
to clap, don’t worry. (laughter) I’m gonna follow Franklin
Rosavelt’s advice on public speaking and be sincere, be brief and be seated. As… Was not planned in advance by any means. On the surface, I definitely
have the pedigree for success. I have loving parents, excellent family, a great education, served
in the Obama administration, became a community college Dean. Homeowner, husband and proud father. But there were darker detours on my path that I don’t typically disclose. A near fatal car accident,
an alcoholic parent, bankruptcy and foreclosure, divorce, and growing up maybe
a little bit too fast. Now, it’s not particularly comfortable to stand in front of
like a thousand people and share these details,
but having got to know many students here at SRJC in my time, I know that you too have overcome a lot. Many hurdles, many of the same challenges. So if I can do this, so can you. A very famous quote that I
just found on the Internet about an hour ago says
that life is a journey, not a destination, and I think Arel Moodie echoed that same sentiment. And so as you’ve heard,
nobody’s journey here is smooth or straight. Life is rocky, is bumpy, it’s curvy. You’re gonna get banged
up, but that journey is also beautiful, so to
borrow Arel’s metaphor, let’s make some coffee and take a ride. Students and devoted faculty in the Agriculture, Natural
Resources and Culinary Arts departments representing
the following programs, please stand up as I call your name. Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry. Restaurant Management. Front House. Dining Room Service. (audience applauds) Brewing, Environmental Horticulture, Floral Design, Natural Resources. Equine Management, Sustainable Ag. Vet Tech, Viticulture. Pest Control. Agribusiness and Wine
Studies, please stand up. (audience cheers) Students, we’re honored
that we have shared part of your journey here at SRJC and we’re proud that you received a great education here but you have also taught us all something about perseverance and grit and determination and hard work, so thank you. (audience applauds) – Good job. – Thank you Benjamin. So my journey here starts kinda like you are sitting here now with
a couple of certificates. I’m Kerry Loewen, I’m the
Dean of Arts and Humanities. And my first certificate
was a radio broadcasting certificate, and that
led to me being a DJ. So if you’d like me to
talk about the weather, I’d be happy to do that. (laughter) I had gigs in San Jose, in Seattle, I thought my career was all set, and then I was replaced by a robot. Seriously, I was replaced
by automation robots that came in and put almost every DJ in the country out of business. So all sudden, this new
career I had was dead. But no, I just walked out of that door, went down the next hallway and kept going and found a new door. This time I got another certificate. This was in film and
video, and this was when we were back shooting on
film, editing on tape, and I spent the next ten years
working on TV commercials. And that was kinda fun,
but then I got bored, and I said, you know what? There’s all this new
digital stuff happening and I wanna find out about that. So I stepped out of that door and I kept going down that hallway. Thank you for the metaphor by the way, I much appreciate that. So I decided to go back to that school. Finished my BA degree, went straight into graduate school at San
Francisco State University, got my MFA, and then that led to all these other doors that
I never knew existed. I’m gonna keep referring to this ’cause it was so great, that’s exactly what happened to me, and it’s what’s gonna happen to you. You’re gonna have problems, you’re gonna have failures, and you
just learn from them. You get up and you walk out that door and you go down the next
one and it’s gonna be great. So anyway, enough about me. This is about you. Students in the Fashion Studies program, Fashion Design Assistant
and Fashion Merchandising, along with your faculty
escorts, Lyra Bobo, Hilary Heaviside and
Robyn Spencer-Crompton, please stand up. (audience applauds) Students in the Digital Filmmaking program along with your faculty
escort, Brian Antonson, please stand up. (audience applauds) Students in Journalism and
Digital Journalism program along with your faculty
escort Anne Belden, please stand up. (audience applauds) And students in the Theatre Arts programs, Acting, Makeup, Costuming, Stage Craft and Theatre Management along
with your faculty escorts, Maryanne Scozzari, Laura Downing-Lee, Leslie McCauley and
Robyn Spencer-Crompton, please stand up. (audience applauds) So I’m gonna leave you all
with two pieces of advice. One, emails and social media
are forever, so be careful. And second, treat everyone with respect because you never know who
your next boss will be. I challenge all of you to
remain lifelong learners. The ceremony is not the end. It’s not the end of your learning, it’s simply the beginning. Congratulations to all. (audience applauds) – Hi everybody, my name
is Dr. Catherine Williams. I’m the Dean of Instruction
for the Petaluma Campus, and this is how you can
become a Dean of Instruction in five easy steps. Ready? Step one, crawl into a
bottle at the age of 14, somehow graduate high school in a daze, go to UC Santa Cruz and
major in better living through chemistry at a
school where clothing is optional and you get pass-fail grades. (laughter) Step two, hit bottom at age 19, enter recovery, what’s up, Human Services? Move home, attend a
California community college while you rebuild your life from scratch. Grow, heal, cry. Drink coffee. I’m the bean, people, I’m the bean. Smoke cigarettes, not any more. Ride a motorcycle, live, laugh, learn. Step three, transfer. Graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology. Get your first job with benefits at an adolescent drug treatment center. Realize you have no idea
how to do clinical work. Go to graduate school. Step four, get a master’s degree. Start teaching college at the age of 25 even though you have never taken a class on how to teach. Find a mentor, ask questions. Do 3,000 hours of clinical training and feel like you’re
faking it the whole time. Find a clinical mentor, ask questions. Write a lot, get a PhD, study a lot. Get a license from the state. Find your partner, have kids, and focus on raising kids and teaching even though you don’t know how to do either things. Fall in love with Santa
Rosa Junior College and the California
community college system that makes positive life
changes available for everyone. Achieve tenure as faculty and yet know for two years that you are meant to be a service to your
community in another way, yet have no idea what that way is. Two years, live, laugh, connect, pray. Step five, here we are people. See this job opening
and don’t even consider applying because you have
no direct job experience, yet take advice from a respected colleague who believes in you when you
don’t believe in yourself. And apply and write a
three page cover letter that describes how you are capable of doing a job that you
have never done before. Three pages, and my thanks
to Dr. Jane Saldana-Talley and Dr. Chong for making it through that three page cover letter. Land a job as Dean and start a new career, one that you never considered, one that you never took a job for, and find mentors, ask questions. Love this job every day and hope that the small acts I do help you
move through your steps. My people on the Petaluma Campus, please stand up when I call your name. Waste Water Treatment and
Water Utility, Chris Murray. (audience applauds) Cisco Certification in
CCNA with Michael McKeever. (audience applauds) Fitness, Nutrition,
Health, with Tara Jacobson and Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training with Andrea Thomas and Venona Orr. (audience applauds) And anyone who’s earning
an associate’s degree this weekend, congratulations. Please know it is my honor to be with you today to celebrate
your accomplishment. Today I celebrate the courage you showed when you showed up and faked it anyways. I celebrate your mentors and loved ones who believed in you
when you didn’t believe in yourself, and I celebrate your desire to be a service to your community in the way that is just right
and true to who you are. Congratulations. (audience applauds) – Gracias, Dr. Catherine Williams. (speaking in foreign language) (audience applauds) (speaking in foreign language) (audience applauds) – You just heard Nancy
Miller’s path to this platform. I’m Victor Tam, I’m the Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and part-time member
of the Village People. (laughter) Here’s my path. I’m a first-generation college graduate and grew up in a small rural
town in Central California. I had few, if any, role models and never knew how transformative a college education could be. I decided to leave the
safety of my hometown to go to the Bay Area
for college at Berkeley. This was the big leagues. Step two, when I arrived at
college, I was not prepared. My high school in comparison
to my classmates was a joke. I took little college prep classes. My parents didn’t help
me with my college essay. I didn’t have SAT tutors. The first day I walked into Berkeley, I was taken aside and
put in a support program because as I was told,
based on my background and where I came from, I most likely would not finish college. Step three, long hours, multiple jobs and internships, and four years later I finished college. Now was the choice between
work or graduate school. My then-girlfriend asked for me to stay in the Bay Area and work. I decided to move down
to Southern California for graduate school. (laughter) And do a long-distance relationship. In hindsight, I made the right choice. I found out later she cheated on me. (laughter) Not bitter, not bitter. (laughter) Step four. (laughs) Graduate school is difficult, not only for the rigor but for the environment. I was told I did not belong in the program because of who I was. Many times I felt defeated,
but I did not give up, eventually earning my
doctorate in five years. Step five, so here’s the good news. After graduation moving
back to the Bay Area, I met my amazing wife and landed great jobs in education. We had to live in beautiful Sonoma County and raise our two little
ones while at the same time helping others benefit
from the transformative experience that is college. Now, about you. Many of our students here
are currently working, but for those that are in attendance. Students in the Civil
Engineering Technology, Geospatial Technology and
Serving Technology programs who are represented by
students for our coordinator Reg Parks, please stand up. (audience applauds) Students in the Mechatronics program which encompasses Industrial Maintenance, Automation and Electronic Technology, along with our faculty escort MJ Papa and partner in crime, Danny Millspaugh, please stand up. (audience applauds) And students in the
Interior Design program along with your faculty
escort Robert Grandmaison, representing coordinator Shari Canepa, please stand up. (audience applauds) In life people will tell
you you do not belong, you can’t do it or you’re not worthy. You’ll feel pressures and obligations, family, financial and emotional. The path through life is not easy. No one ever said it was. But never be afraid to
chart your own course or go against the status quo. Sometimes you have to in
order to get what you want. Congratulations to you all. You’re an inspiration to me, to SRJC and to the lives of the people you’ve touched and will touch. Thank you and go bear cubs. (audience applauds) – Good evening. I’m Josh Adams, and it is my privilege to be the Dean of Business
and Professional Studies. I’m from Cloverdale, California, and when I was a kid,
I don’t remember once ever thinking, I wanna
be a dean when I grow up. Imagine my surprise that it’s truly one of my dream jobs. Like some, I chose to
drop out of high school after my junior year. I moved to the Bay Area and worked in the IT field fixing net servers. Well during the dot-com crash, I found myself changing careers, and I found my true passion in life in education as a teacher. While teaching Information Technology for the United States Coast Guard as a civilian, a mentor encouraged me to go back to school. Listening to them, I started and completed my associate’s, bachelor’s
and master’s degree in just over five years. It was because of that that doors opened and I found myself working for Santa Rosa Junior College, which is one of the best places I have ever worked. Through my journey, a quote from one of my favorite authors
has always rung true. The most important step a person can take, it’s not the first step, is it? It’s the next one, always the next step. Congratulations to the following students who have completed their programs and are ready for your next steps. Would the students and
faculty in the following programs please stand up? Administrative Assistant
with faculty Katie Seder. (audience applauds) Accounting, Bookkeeper and Payroll with faculty members Dr. Gina Lord, Dr. G, and Breck Withers. (audience applauds) Entrepreneurship with Bill Cummings. (audience applauds) Hospitality Management with Al Yu. (audience applauds) Business Marketing and
Management with Katie Seder. (audience applauds) Real Estate with Steve Herndon. (audience applauds) Human Resource Administration
with Eleanore Webster. (audience applauds) Graphic Design with Summer Winston. Digital Media, 3D Modeling and Animation with Mike Starkey. (audience applauds) Web Design and Computer
Studies with Ethan Wilde. (audience applauds) Welding Technology with Dave Lemmer. (audience applauds) Diesel Equipment Technology with Jesse Kosten and Cliff Norton. (audience applauds) Automotive Technoloy with Cliff Norton. (audience applauds) Nice. And last but not least,
Machine Tool Technology with Bill McCracken. Congratulations. (audience applauds) – I’ve got some good news,
I’m the last dean to go. (audience cheers) You’ve heard Josh’s story. My name’s Brad Davis, I’m the Dean of Workforce Development, and my story starts with that door right there. How many people have
been in the JC before? What was that door? Right, buybacks. I was 15 and a half
years old and my parents had plans for me that I didn’t have, and that was to work. I had to go work in that bookstore and I had to do buybacks. And when you do buybacks, most of the time you get to say, no. Me at 15 and a half year old, saying no to a college student who just spent what would probably cost
as much as a used car on a book, you learn customer
service very quickly. (laughter) After that I took some
part-time jobs here on campus, and in 1998, I was hired
as an adjunct instructor in the Business Office
Technology department, teaching computer classes at what then was the Coddingtown Center, for
those of you who remember that. I was also a big fan of wine. Where’s the Wine Studies? My fellow cork dorks. Awesome. (laughs) When I worked
in the wine industry, people say, what do you do? I drink wine for a living. Really, how do I get that job? I worked part-time in
wineries and part-time here. As you know, to live in Sonoma County it takes kind of working
part-time in multiple areas. I got my level two Court
of Master Sommeliers certification and started
teaching wine classes in the Community Education
department in 2001. I got hired to teach in
the Wine Studies program. I had a wine fridge in my
office, it was the coolest thing. People kept asking me, is that real? Yeah, it really is. I worked in two different departments, now the Business Office
Technology, Business department, and in the Wine Studies. And that’s what I did to make ends meet. You had to if you live
in Sonoma County, right? And then the fifth step, I saw the job posting to go into management, working for this guy right
here named Jerry Miller which is one of the
only reasons I actually applied for that job, and I got it. So I’m not gonna ask you guys in my area to stand up quite yet. I’m just gonna give you
this little parting story. For those of you who went
to commencement last year, Gaye Le Baron was up here, one of Sonoma County’s foremost historians, talking about her speech. It was titled “Pathways,” literally. I had to call and ask
yesterday to make sure. That’s Analy Hall, that’s
Burbank Auditorium, and the story goes back when the President of the college, and it was not Dr. Chong, when the President of the college was here years and years ago when those
two buildings were built, the architect went up
to Dr., I think it was Bailey at the time, and
said, where do you want the paths to be, ’cause
we’ll put them there. And he said, no, let’s wait a little bit. Wait for the students to form them, and then put the paths there. Thought that’s kinda interesting. So my parting advice to you guys. Paths. Don’t let anybody tell
you what your path is, find it on your own. Once you do find it,
follow it with passion. Realize it may not go where
you think it’s gonna go, but wherever it does
go, do it with resolve and do it with passion, again. That’s my advice to you. So my area, it’s a little different. I don’t have a one area,
but any of the students out here who took a work experience class, who did a community involvement class, did an internship as part of your job, please stand up along with
your faculty coordinators, Leena Her and Lauralyn Larsen. (audience applauds) As you know, being at internship and doing all of that, that’s extra work on top of your program, and it’s important because you get to do what
you’re doing in your program. So again, my name’s Brad Davis, that’s my story, I wanna
congratulate all of you, and on with the party. (audience applauds) – So that brings us to the halfway point of our ceremony this evening. (laughter) – I’m freezing up here. – Everyone stand and
gets your medallion out. Turn to your right or turn to your left, face one of your neighbors. This medallion represents
your accomplishments, your hard work and your perseverance. Place the medallion over
your neighbor’s neck and tell them out loud, “You are awesome!” – You are awesome! Go bear cubs! (audience applauds) – How about that? Well, it was a great evening tonight. I really am very proud and honored. A little humbled, a little surprised, no, I’m a lot surprised. This is fantastic. You heard about everyone’s journey. My journey started at 11
delivering newspapers. Was a dishwasher, a janitor,
worked on a paving crew. I, like you, studied here at Santa Rosa Junior College in the 70s. My first real job was a
civil engineering technician. I transferred to the
Harvard of the West Coast, Fresno State. Received a bachelor’s
degree, became a licensed professional land surveyor. After working in the industry I came back to SRJC to be an instructor. Taught for 19 years. Studied, received my own master’s, finally becoming the
best job I’ve ever had, the Senior Dean of Career Education at Santa Rosa Junior College. That journey and the
changes that come with it are very frightening. They’re coming to an end,
but it’s also very exciting. How many of you feel frightened right now with the challenges before you? Raise your hand. How many of you are excited
about the challenges before you? (audience cheers) If you’re a little afraid
and a little excited, you’re on the right path. Life can be scary at times. It can also be very exciting. Embrace those feelings. Embrace what awaits you. Change is all a part of life. Be thankful for those changes. Say thank you for what you’ve achieved. Say thank you to your instructors, to your family, to your friends. Say thank you for the hard times, they make you appreciate the good. (audience cheers) Say thank you for the
lessons that you’ve learned that allowed for your development. Say thank you for your drive, your spirit, your strength. Now go show your thanks and take that rose that was given to you today, and give it to somebody who made something for you so that you got to where you were today. (audience cheers) Decide right now, you’re
going to live your dreams and never settle. Choose to be the bean. Be afraid, and be excited. And remember this. I believe in you. (audience cheers) We all here, your
family, your instructors, we believe in you. (audience cheers) You believe in you. Thank you for coming,
goodnight, God bless. Celebrate! (audience cheers) (upbeat, triumphant music)

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