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Joann Gonzalez-Generals

As colorful flags representing Spanish speaking countries fluttered from the ceiling of the Great Hall in the Winnet Student Life Building, more than 100 members of the College family and their guests enjoyed Latin music, fajitas and uplifting messages during the 5th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon on October 1.

Students took the stage to discuss their paths at Community College of Philadelphia and shared career goals. Dr. Donald Generals, College president, opened the program and welcomed the audience in Spanish.

The luncheon was one of several events planned to mark Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. Upcoming events include a conversation on identity differences on October 14, a Muestra de Arte (Art Show) on October 16 featuring work by actor and artist Paolo Andino and a Latin Caribbean Concert on October 22.

Student speaker Juan Quintero, a Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management major, spoke briefly about his chance to work at Disney World. In 2011 and 2012, he applied to the Disney College Program, a competitive internship that immerses students in Disney’s world-famous hospitality culture. Only a fraction of program applicants are accepted into the program each year, according to news reports.

“Disney came to the College and spoke about the program and gave a presentation. If they hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have known about it,” said Quintero, whose goal is to become a renowned chef. “As an intern, I learned how to interact with guests. I was used as a translator since I’m bilingual. I was a good team leader and I assisted the managers and filled in as a cook when needed.”

Cynthia Huertas, a Business Administration major and treasurer for the Student Government Association, added that her creativity has blossomed here. “I write poetry. I write songs for R&B and Rock,” she said. “There’s a lot of talent here, which is why I’ve been networking and meeting people.”

Ms. Joann Gonzalez-Generals, the former executive director of student success at Caldwell University in New Jersey delivered the keynote speech. Gonzalez-Generals, who is married to Dr. Generals, shared her life story and stressed the importance of completing an academic credential.

“I am the proud daughter of immigrants,” Ms. Gonzalez-Generals said. “My mother was born in Colombia and my father and stepfather were Dominican. I am a first-generation college student.” She said her parents taught her that education was the key to financial independence. “My mother would say, ‘Stay in school so that you’ll never have to rely on anyone’,” she said.

As the nation’s largest racial minority, the progress made by Hispanics today affects the well-being of society, Gonzalez-Generals said. “If Hispanics are not educated, that would be devastating to all of us in the country,” she said.

In closing, she encouraged students to reach for their dreams. “Sometimes, you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. Take your chances, or someone else will.”

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Community College of Philadelphia President Donald Generals played drums with a student jazz band to a crowd of students, faculty, and other guests as part of an opening tribute for the college’s 50th birthday celebration.

RSVP for the Faith-based Breakfast Private Reception with Dr. Donald Generals

Dr. Donald Generals, President

Community College of Philadelphia cordially invites you to meet our new president, Dr. Donald Generals at a special Faith-based Breakfast.

PHILADELPHIA, September 29, 2014—Community College of Philadelphia was one of 16 institutions recertified this week as a Leader College for Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, earn a college certificate or degree.

The designation of Leader College is awarded to member colleges that commit to improve student success and close achievement gaps. These colleges, according to Achieving the Dream officials, “have shown how data can inform policy and practice to help community college students achieve their goals, resulting in improved skills, better employability, and economic growth for families, communities, and the nation as a whole.”

Since 2009, Achieving the Dream has granted Leader College status to a total of 79 active Achieving the Dream institutions. Community College of Philadelphia first obtained Leader status in 2011. Every three years, institutions must undergo a recertification process to maintain the Leader College designation.

According to Achieving the Dream, Community College of Philadelphia earned recertification based on recent advancements in student performance. The percentage of students who completed courses with a “C” or better increased from 11.8 percent in 2007-2008 to 21.4 percent in 2010-2011. Credential attainment for students increased from 8.6 percent in 2006-2007 to 10.4 percent in 2009-2010. In addition, the College doubled the number of Hispanic students who completed courses with a “C” or better and tripled success rates for Pell Grant recipients.

“Community College of Philadelphia is proud to be recognized as a Leader College for Achieving the Dream,” said Dr. Donald “Guy” Generals, the College’s president. “We have increased student support initiatives that provide academic success tools and enable us to support all learners in achieving their academic goals.”

Achieving the Dream executives said that the 2014 Leader Colleges are making strides in the national movement to increase student completion and close achievement gaps. With the guidance of Achieving the Dream Coaches, colleges implement key student supports that align with their overall policies and institutional systems, such as college readiness programs, mandatory new student orientation, and other programs.

“The work of improving student success is critically important to our education and economy,” said Carol Lincoln, Achieving the Dream Senior Vice President. “These colleges are working hard to move the needle for whole cohorts of students, and deserve recognition for their relentless efforts and promising achievements.”

Achieving the Dream executives announced the recertifications on Sept. 24 as they newly granted Leader College distinction to 16 new institutions. For more information, visit http://achievingthedream.org/latest-news/press-releases.

Community College of Philadelphia enrolls more than 34,000 credit and non-credit students. It offers day, evening, weekend and online classes. Visit us at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Become a fan on Facebook

RSVP for the Men of Color Private Reception with Dr. Donald Generals

Dr. Donald Generals, President

Community College of Philadelphia cordially invites you to meet our new president, Dr. Donald Generals at a special Breakfast Reception

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