An online publication for the staff, faculty, students and friends of Community College of Philadelphia
Volume 16, Number 3 - May 2008

Perspective

Stephen M. Curtis
Stephen M. Curtis

Community College of Philadelphia continues to work on reaching new milestones and providing more Philadelphians with the Path to Possibilities. But we cannot do it alone.The community and its leaders play an important role in achieving new goals and realizing future ambitions for the entire city of Philadelphia.

So, for each of the last nine years,we have honored the contributions of community leaders who move Philadelphia forward in countless ways.This year,we recognized outstanding community leadership by honoring 18 leaders at our Northeast,West and Northwest Regional Center campuses.

The honorees are representatives from business, education, elected officials, faith-based organizations, the community and young people who already exhibit strong leadership ability. Their individual contributions differ, but they share a commonality- they have helped improve the lives of individuals in their own community.

Our work at Community College of Philadelphia builds upon, and depends upon, their efforts. Since the College first opened its doors,we have enrolled more than 580,000 students; an impressive number. But these community leaders contribute to their knowledge in a way that is equally tangible- through example. By working together,we can help enhance and improve Philadelphia as it strives toward educating its citizens and expanding local economies.

The College will play a crucial role in helping Mayor Michael A. Nutter attain his education goals, one of which is to turn Philadelphia into the nation's premiere education city. More than 80 percent of our graduates remain in Philadelphia, helping the city build a strong workforce and economy. Our graduates, more than half of whom are age 25 or older, promote healthy and sustainable communities by working in the city's hospitals and medical offices, in schools, in law offices, at life sciences firms and at many other organizations that provide essential services. Many of our graduates are decision-makers in business, government and in the community.

There are many ways to acquire knowledge, and volunteering in our communities is perhaps one of the most important. By serving our neighborhoods, we all become winners. During my career in higher education, I have seen that the power individuals have to initiate positive change for themselves and their community is endless. They can teach; they can mentor; they can serve as role models. They can lead their communities and companies toward productive solutions.The lasting effects of reaching out to one individual can inspire a relative, an entire family and future generations. We acknowledge our community leaders not only for their important achievements, but also for the critical role they play in molding the young people who will one day run our corporations, educational institutions and government.


Stephen Curtis