He's an inspiration and an example of what we can accomplish if we keep working at it.
"Community college." Sometimes that phrase isn't used in a positive light. Let's face it, we're not Hollywood's darling. Last year, however, Tom Hanks stepped up to challenge the stereotype by announcing that he had gone to a community college and attributed part of his success to it.
The reasons that students choose to attend a community college over a four-year university are as varied as the individuals are, but many come down to finances and family. These students need more flexibility, and the smaller class sizes mean more personal attention from instructors. They also need encouragement and a sense of purpose, like every other higher ed student. Sometimes that "exit" sign looks too tempting. Unfortunately, getting role models to acknowledge or speak at a community college is often difficult.
This is why Tom Hanks' Op Ed piece is inspiring. He is a role model who has been highly successful in his professional and personal life, and here he is - not bragging on an Ivy League education but applauding community colleges. He's an example of what we can accomplish if we keep working at it.
Can a small community college like Vol State get the attention of someone like Tom Hanks? I don't know, but it would be fun to try. Mr. Hanks, if you're listening, I personally want to thank you for your inspiration. It would be an honor to have you speak at Volunteer State Community College's 2017 commencement.
So without further ado we're unveiling the #Hanks2VolState Campaign, where Vol State students are encouraged to produce, post, and tag their own short videos asking Tom Hanks to come speak at our college. Some of our media production students put together the first one here: