Alamo Colleges ensures 6,000+ students stay connected amid coronavirus crisis
Do you ever wonder if the challenges we encounter are meant to teach us something? While on our journey, obstacles appear to be intentionally designed to challenge our goals, alter our dreams, and/or even force us into retreat. Perhaps challenges are intentionally meant to elevate our determination or provide a measure of how strong we truly are.
During these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has devastated communities, leaving millions unemployed, displaced, and uncertain. Even more devastating is that tens of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to this pandemic. With a large percentage of those fatalities being African Americans and Latinos. In San Antonio we are still bracing for greater deaths, but I remain prayerful we will prevail with minimal loss of life.
It is the adverse economic impact of COVID -19 that presents the next challenge. How will we address the high level of displaced workers in industries devastated by this virus? There will be a greater need to earmark more resources towards workforce development programs and initiatives that can help adults acquire new trades and job skills.
As we enter this next phase of the fight, Alamo Colleges has the resources and tools to help. Identifying partnerships will be even more important as we pull together to fight these insurmountable obstacles. I firmly believe that it can and will be done.
Alamo Colleges has committed to help break the cycle of generational poverty. With the Alamo Promise launching this Fall 2020, graduating Seniors will have the opportunity to begin classes tuition free. Our attack on poverty will be on two fronts. Adding depth and strategic planning in the area of workforce development will compliment our Alamo Promise efforts and ensure we meet our community’s collective needs. It is our job to rise the to the challenge.
Let me provide a recent example of that commitment to fight. At the beginning of the State’s mandatory quarantine, Alamo College administration indicated that 10% of our student body, approximately 6,000 students did not have the resources or tools to learn remotely. With courses being conducted remotely, access and resources would be critical for students to continue with their course work.
Failure to address the digital divide and inequities could result in thousands of Alamo College students, a disproportionate number being students of color, stood to potentially fail their courses. I cannot stress to you how detrimental such a setback could be for minority students.
I am pleased to report that Alamo Colleges acquired over 7,700 laptops in order to ensure every student in need of one has access to one. There should not be a single student without a device to continue their work remotely. What that means for student success is immeasurable.
I pledge to continue helping in every way possible to take on every obstacle COVID-19 may put in front of us. I believe there is one additional reason obstacles stand before us. They stand there to test our faith. Remain faithful and be strengthened by the fact that you are not alone. “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5