On last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to be the student speaker at CCBC’s Five Star Gala for the Hospitality Management program. I can truly say that CCBC knows how to have a good time. The food, entertainment, and atmosphere was amazing. I was very ecstatic to be at the Gala. Words could not describe what a wonderful night it was. CCBC is such a wonderful place and I’m glad I choose to be here. I really appreciate all that CCBC (faculty, Staff, Friends, etc.) has done for me and my education. I never knew where this journey would taking me but I’m glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone to try something different.
About three years ago, I started attending CCBC in the fall of 2011 after graduating from high school. By spring of 2012, I transferred to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I was ready to be on my own by pursing my college dream; however, I realized I would need to take out student loans to remain there which resulted in me transferring back to CCBC in the fall of that same year.
My transition from a four year university to a two year college made me realize one important thing – I was receiving the same education at CCBC that I was receiving at a four year university. So, why pay more for the same quality education?
There was no reason especially when my CCBC experience has been so amazing.
I entered the Hospitality Management program because I enjoy making others feel special. This characteristic might be derived from my cultural background which is Jamaican. You see, in Jamaica, tourism is a way of life. So much of our economy is built around tourism that one is naturally drawn to the hospitality industry; especially when the island thrives on it.
When I joined the Hospitality Management program, I felt like it was my calling. I was with people who shared my same views which included serving the needs of others above my own. I gain personal satisfaction knowing my efforts can make a person feel welcomed, comfortable and entertained.
At CCBC, I am learning from the best. Although I have many wonderful professors, Professor Scott Vratarich has exceeded my expectations. He is funny, insightful and really knows how to engage his students. And, because he has experience working in the industry, you can trust that he is giving good advice.
Above all else, it was almost free for me to attending CCBC. I was receiving support through CCBC’s scholarship foundation and through the Student Life Ambassador program. These scholarships enabled me to focus on my education and maintain a good GPA.
In closing, I’m glad I’ve chosen the path that I’m on. What I’ve gained at CCBC cannot be measured. Along this journey, I’ve met caring people who nurtured and helped mold me into the person I am today and the person I hope to be. I’ve become more self-assured and enhanced my leadership skills by serving as a Student Life Ambassador, being president of the Phi Theta Kappa-Alpha Rio Psi chapter, and representing CCBC tri-campus on the Maryland Higher Education Commission-Student Advisory Council. At CCBC, I have gained confidence and courage which has led me to believe I can do anything …..including standing in front you all tonight.
So, thanks to all of you who by your presence have contributed to the Hospitality program. It’s a program I love and a program I hope to see grow. Please know that CCBC students like me appreciate your continued support.
Thank You CCBC!