President’s Weekly Messages to Students
Big up yourself!
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Dear KCC Students,
I’ve probably told you before that I was born and raised on St. Croix which is part of the United States Virgin Islands. Growing up when I did, Virgin Islanders were in the majority; there were a number of families from the mainland (or as we would say Continentals); many families from Puerto Rico and later the Dominican Republic; and many, many residents who hailed from a variety of islands throughout the Caribbean.
It was easy to feel the influence of all the people who called St. Croix home in everything from food to music. Although I loved listening to Bob Marley and Steel Pulse, I don’t recall though having any friends who were from Jamaica. But once I went away to college in New Jersey, it was there I would meet and develop lifelong friendships with many Jamaican college mates.
Despite the Caribbean heritage we shared, and similar cultural beliefs and practices, there was much that was different and new to me like Jamaican food (ackee and saltfish), a wider variety of music (dance hall and dub) and of course their language, Jamaican patois and idioms.
As I reflect on my time in college, I pull from something my Jamaican friends often tell me and share it with you on this official last day of the academic year.
KCC students Big up yourself! That’s the message. Feel the pride that comes with making it to the end of another academic year! Some of you are graduating today, others have already registered for the summer and fall semesters because you are on a mission to earn your degree. Be proud of all that you have accomplished. I know I am proud of you for persevering through these changing times, for making your degree a priority, for all that you are doing for your family, and for all that you are doing for yourself. Marianne Williamson once said playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking. We are all meant to shine.
KCC students, this is your time. Big up yourself!