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A community college education is valid, rigorous and produces some of the most well-rounded and diverse talent

Since April is #CommunityCollegeMonth, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

There is a perception that somehow community colleges aren’t “real college” and that unless you’re going to a university, you’re not a real “college student.”

At 25th Hour Communications, we believe that point of view is 100 percent flat-out and unequivocally wrong. Community colleges across the country are producing future entrepreneurs, lawyers, dental hygienists, artists, white-collar and blue-collar folks alike. We’ve worked with more than 150 community colleges in our more than 10 years as a company, and we’ve seen countless stories of students reaching their fullest potential thanks to the incredible faculty, staff and administration at their community college.

Don’t believe us yet? Just check out the following list of former community college students:

 

You can become an astronaut and Air Force Colonel:

Eileen Collins, Corning Community College

 

You can start and lead the most valuable company in the world:

Steve Jobs, De Anza College

 

You can become a civil rights activist, speaker and labor organizer:

Dolores Huerta, San Joaquin Delta College

 

You can become a critically-acclaimed actress, feminist icon and pioneer female rapper:

Queen Latifah, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

 

You can become an NFL Hall of Fame Coach and broadcaster,

John Madden, College of San Mateo

 

You can become a leading television news journalist and anchor, covering twelve presidential debates and the Watergate scandal that took down Richard Nixon:

Jim Lehrer, Victoria College

 

You can be a writer, director and creator of one of the most iconic and highest-grossing film franchises of all-time:

George Lucas, Modesto Junior College

 

You can become an athlete, civil rights icon and hero to millions:

Jackie Robinson, Pasadena City College

 

You can become the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, and LGBTQ+ champion:

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Miami-Dade College

 

You can become Mr. Universe, an action-hero star and Governor of California:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Santa Monica College

 

You can become an internationally-acclaimed novelist and memoirist:

Amy Tan, San José City College

 

You can become one of the most well-known science fiction writers of all time:

Octavia Butler, Pasadena City College

 

You can become a beloved Hollywood actor, screenwriter, director and philanthropist:

Tom Hanks, Chabot College

 

Hanks said it was his time in community college that was fundamental to his success. Hanks’ wrote, directed and starred in the 2011 film Larry Crowne, inspired by his time at Chabot College: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/opinion/tom-hanks-on-his-two-years-at-chabot-college.html

The fact is, community college students and alums have myriad different reasons why they chose to go to a two-year college and to immediately dismiss someone for that is near-sighted, judgmental and potentially barring your organization from incredible and diverse talent (see the short-list above). Community colleges are nimble, innovative and full of students brimming with potential — the colleges just need to be given the chance.

*Mic drop*

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