Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph Biden, visited Kingsborough Community College to wish the 2009 graduates success and best in their future.
Dr. Biden is a highly accomplished educator of 28 years, having earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware. Today, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from officials at the City University of New York.
In her keynote address, she congratulated the students and spoke about her career-long commitment to higher education and community colleges.
During her speech, she singled out three special graduates who overcame tough circumstances to fulfill their educational dreams. One of those graduates she mentioned, Guyanese native Jacqueline Carter-Cutting, was highlighted in an article in today’s New York Daily News.
Ms. Carter-Cutting told the Daily News that she “fell in love” with New York after September 11, and decided to emigrate here from Guyana. With her degree in nursing, she is planning on helping U.S. soldiers injured on the front lines. Both she and her daughter, Sharika Carter, were awarded their diplomas in today’s graduation ceremony.
Dr. Biden seemed to bring the sunshine in with her beaming smile and optimistic outlook, since the day started with rain and clouds that simply dissipated as she entered the stage.
Her speech brought roars from the crowd, as she told the graduating students,”You inspire me”. But, the roars completely drowned out her words when she said the name of our new President, Barack Obama, and told the crowd that “the President’s goal is to once again, have the highest proportion of college graduates by the year 2020.”
Her speech showed how inspired she is by community college students. She gave back some of that inspiration to the graduates in her closing remarks. Dr. Biden advised the graduates to share some of this inspiration with others they know:
Always see in others what they are capable of becoming. See it. Pass it on. You need to inspire them. Show them the good that can come from a great education. Show them what they’re capable of. Show them above all else, that they can do it, too.
(Photo courtesy of Bobby Bank)