“In a lot of work that we do as learners, we grow in helping others learn. That means you’re often maybe a teacher and a mentor and a leader to other people. And that knowledge that you have is a great asset to you.”
With those words, keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Percy, Dean of Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, simultaneously commended the Central City Concern employee graduates for their extraordinary efforts and tapped them with further responsibility to raise up people around them.
In all, twenty-three CCC staff members were honored on Friday, March 13, at Central City Concern’s second annual Education Community Graduation Ceremony. Each person honored had completed an education or training program on top of their busy work schedule within the past year.
The 23 graduates represented more than 15 distinct areas of study and training programs, ranging from Bachelors and Masters degrees to computer training courses, certifications and licenses to leadership programs.
Ed Blackburn, CCC Executive Director, addressed the honorees, saying that reading each of the names on the certificates he signed was a moving exercise.
“You’re an inspiration to me. Your efforts are an inspiration for others,” Ed said. “I’m so pleased that the organization has people like you who want to continue advancing their education and learning.”
During the keynote address, Dr. Percy encouraged honorees to use their newly acquired knowledge as a bridge to better serving others.
“I imagine that many of you got more education so you can continue to do even more to help other people as well as advancing your own lives,” said Dr. Percy. “If you can give a little help, a little assistance, some encouragement, we can change things and make things better. There’s a beauty from working with other people.”
Each graduate was called up by name and was given a certificate of accomplishment and ceremonial cord.
We know that encouraging and investing in our employees – whether through direct financial assistance, support from peers, or making resources more accessible – will allow our staff members to realize their full potential as exceptional colleagues and professionals. As Ed said during the ceremony, Central City Concern is proud to be “an organization that supports those who are trying to advance their knowledge and their education.”