Today was “Education Day” for the Leadership Thurston County group I am fortunate to be part of. Each month, for a year, we tour different sectors of the community and learn how the operate.
Now, I work in education so I thought I knew the landscape pretty well, I turns out I learned a ton on education day.
We started at a college and then boarded a school bus (I haven’t done THAT in awhile) to visit the New Market Skills Center. New Market was amazing. It’s an alternative high school where you can focus getting your diploma and on a the trades such as, culinary, automotive, construction, etc. These students found traditional educational environments challenging or boring and at New Market they are excelling.
From there we visited the robotics, aeronautics, orchestra and community schools areas of a local high school. We met with the school’s student leadership, and inspiring group of young people.
Next we came back to our college, enjoyed an incredible lunch provided by our culinary staff/students and toured the campus. We visited out Diverity and Equity Center, Career Services, and Running Start programs, followed by a panel of college presidents who spoke about leadership and the challenges in education today.
As I listened about the need for access to education for all, low income, underrepresented students, I was reminded why I do this work and why I love it. As a foundation director, I am doing just that, working on increasing access for students. Because truly, education is a bridge to prosperity and doing work what is meaningful, that you love and that pays a living wage. As I walked out after this marathon day, I felt reenergized and grateful to work in education.
Today I am grateful for education, the doors it opens for everyone, the community of educators from early learning to college level who are passionate and committed to students and supporting them as they thrive.