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College Forum Volume 18, Issue 2 : Page 1

MIAMI DADE COLLEGE S COLLEGE f orum June 2014 • Volume 18 • Number 2 CLASS OF 2014 High-Profile Speakers Inspire Grads cestral memories of African slaves. To this has been added 200 years of that parade that continues to this day of flags of immigrants drawn by the central promise of the United States of America – the promise that, in America, anything is possible. And that America can be seen here today in the sharp relief of this amazing Class of 2014.” MDC’s graduation rate skyrocketed this year, with gains in all areas (see Page 32). While hundreds of job-ready graduates are jump-ing into the workforce, others are continuing their studies at top U.S. universities. Many have gained remarkable support to do so, includ-ing MDC Honors College grads Jesús Bohórquez, Karen Burgos and Norka Lecca, who all won prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarships of up to $30,000 a year for three years to fund their remaining baccalaureate studies. Bohórquez had the added honor of introducing Vice President Biden. One student from each MDC campus was also selected to receive a Miami Dade College District Board of Trustees Scholarship of $5,000. The winners were Andy Alfonso, Naphtalie Armand, Yaite Laura Batista, Amanda Brown, Lázaro Chávez, Halina Rachelson and Jeffrey Romeu. For photos and additional stories, see Pages 14-17. uccess. Excellence. Opportunity. These were some of the words that trended throughout Miami Dade College’s five 2014 com-mencement ceremonies to reflect the accomplishments and bright futures ahead for the College’s nearly 15,000 graduates. As always, each send-off was a celebration of the highest order, fea-turing high-level speakers – among them U.S. Vice President Joe Biden – who offered sage perspectives and heartfelt wishes to the Class of 2014. Exciting musical and dance performances added fes-tivity to the ceremonies and had the seas of grads, their families and friends rising from their seats in jubilation. MDC graduated students from 113 countries this year alone, whose flags were marched across the stage at the beginning of each ceremo-ny to the proud cheers of graduates and their loved ones. “I don’t know anyone who could fail to be moved by the display of the flags or the pride on display here in this auditorium,” said Vice President Biden at the ceremony for MDC’s Homestead and Inter-American campuses. “The history of the journey of this country in my view has been a constant parade of flags, from Native Americans in-habiting these shores, to flags of early European settlers, and our an-Businesses Jump to the Next Level Goldman Sachs-MDC Partnership Graduates First Class This spring, an ambitious, tal-ented group of local small busi-ness owners worked with experts at Miami Dade College to jump-start their companies through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program, which matches entrepreneurs seeking to expand their markets and revenues with experienced business minds who can help. The prog ram is funded by Goldman Sachs, which commit-ted $500 million to help develop 10,000 small U.S. businesses. MDC’s first cohort of 10KSB schol-ars graduated in May. “At Miami Dade College, we live by the maxim that opportunity changes everything, and this is just what this program does,” said John Hall, executive director of MDC’s 10KSB program. “One of the ben-efits of this partnership study pro-gram is that it provides access to tools for revenue and employment growth that many area entrepre-neurs otherwise would not have.” The curriculum – taught by MDC business faculty and successful local entrepreneurs – includes coursework in finance, operations, leadership, marketing and more. In addition, the instruction extends to topics like pitching to potential cli-ents and supporters, and peer-to-peer learning, where the scholars share their problem-solving skills. ”This is an impressive group of entrepreneurs,” said MDC Profes-sor Dr. Rahnuma Ahsan. ”In my many years of teaching, I’ve seen the type of drive that is needed to excel, and this group has it.” So far the numbers have been impressive for the 10KSB nation-wide, which has scholars in 18 cit-ies. A recent study showed that for the first 1,300 participants, along with a 99 percent graduation rate, the business owners increased the revenue of their companies an average of 63 percent within six months of graduation, as com-pared to only 37 percent of all small businesses over the same period. Almost 49 percent added new employees in that time frame, while only 18 percent of all small businesses did. “The long-term impact can be significant,” Hall said. “With Miami Dade College successfully graduat-ing 400 to 500 scholars in the next five years – all of whom are seek-ing to rapidly grow their revenues – the net effect will be significant economic growth and job creation for the entire region.”

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