Scott graduates told to share their stories

Posted Online: May 21, 2014, 9:43 pm
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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com
DAVENPORT — Graduates of Scott Community College were told to "pass on the dream" at their commencement ceremony Wednesday in the RiverCenter.

Don Doucette, chancellor of Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, congratulated the hundreds of graduates of the colleges' numerous degree and certificate programs. He applauded them for the hard work and dedication that let them meet their goals and push for something better.

Mr. Doucette said each graduate enrolled for different reasons and overcame different sets of obstacles. Each story, he said, is part of a broader picture.

He said the students were part of the "American Dream" -- setting their sights on a better life and seeing through to their goals.

"You are part of an inter-generational story that made this country and made it great," he said.

Mr. Doucette encouraged graduates to have faith in that dream. He challenged them to let their confidence lead them to success in the next chapter of their lives.

And he invited the gathering to savor their success and talk about it with friends, family and even strangers.

"Share your story," Mr. Doucette said. "Pass on the dream."

His message was echoed by Rod Risley, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, who told graduates they were responsible for keeping the American dream alive. Factors such as the expanding income gap and the country's diminishing rank in terms of college completion pose a threat to the ideal, he said.

"The American dream is real," Mr. Risley said. "[But] there are some strings attached."

Not all who want to go to college are offered the same opportunities and resources, he said, and many miss out on the experience.

"You have a responsibility to improve the quality of your community, for all in your community," he said.

He also told graduates not to fear seeking new success. "The only thing possible to prevent you is you," he added.

Ashley Reynolds, of Bettendorf, was among Wednesday's graduates. The 30-year-old mother of two received an associates degree in applied sciences in mechanical design technology.

She said she began taking "a few classes here and there" after completing high school in 2000. Ms. Reynolds said she had always wanted to be an engineer, and the support of her professors pointed her toward her preferred discipline.

"I wouldn't be here without them," she said.

Ms. Reynolds now plans to start a new job at Rockwell Collins, a Cedar Rapids-based avionics and information technology company. And she hopes to later pursue an industrial engineering degree.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)