Graduation – a word that brings forth images of cards filled with well wishes and hopefully a check, caps being thrown high in the air, and a unique smile that straddles the line between ecstasy and relief. Among those smiling faces graduating this year is Jean Young, a Civically Engaged Scholar who was selected student speaker for this years commencement ceremonies.
Young was selected by Salt Lake Community College because of her exemplary performance in academics and extracurricular activities.
“I have had several opportunities that have given me experience outside of the classroom,” Young said.
In addition to being a part of Civically Engaged Scholars, she is also involved with the Thayne Center for Service and Learning, where she participated in Alternative Spring Break in March 2009. Young is also a member of AmeriCorps and received a scholarship to attend an Impact conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas. She said the conference, and particularly the story of desegregation and the fight for improved educational opportunities had a profound effect on her. That same passion and commitment to excellence led to Young’s receipt of a full tuition scholarship to the University of Utah’s Sociology Department.
Because of her positive experiences with SLCC, Young said she is excited and compelled to speak of them in her graduation speech. She has been collaborating with Dr. Carolyn Clark of the Communications Department to perfect and polish her speech and its delivery. “She [Clark] has given me great counsel and coaching,” said Young.
As she moves on to the University of Utah in the fall, Young reflected on her experience at SLCC.
“As a student, I feel that learning is an ongoing life experience,” Young explained. “It doesn’t matter whether you are 20 or 50-years-old. Education helps to mold individuals into the best possible members of society. Everything in my life is better because of my educational experiences here at Salt Lake Community College.”
To hear Young’s words of wisdom, head to the Commencement on May 7 at 10 a.m. in the Lifetime Activities Center.