Capital Community College’s annual Changing Lives Celebration was held November 4th with more than 200 persons in attendance at the downtown Hartford College’s Centinel Hill Hall auditorium. Howie Dickenman, Head Coach of Central Connecticut State University’s men’s basketball and a former Head Coach at Capital when it was Greater Hartford Community College in the 1970s, was the featured speaker.
Dickenman praised Capital and other community colleges for the “second chances” they give many students to earn associate degrees allowing them to move on to four-year institutions.
Colin McEnroe, Hartford Courant columnist and host of “The Colin McEnroe Show” on Connecticut Public Radio, led a discussion with a panel of students at the annual charity event that raises funds for scholarships and support of the two-year public college.
The Changing Lives Celebration raised $60,000 for the College’s nonprofit foundation (CCCF) with support from sponsors, guests and a “Scholar Dollars” live auction.
Allan Polak, Foundation Vice Chair who co-hosted the Celebration with Board Chairman Tom Trumble, said as a result of the event “we are now in a position to offer greatly needed financial support in the coming year to a good number of students who would otherwise not be able to continue their college education.” Polak invited guests to continue to be a part of Capital’s community and learn more about the school and its students.
Travelers Insurance, the major sponsor for the Celebration, was recognized for the Crossroads to Careers program known as C3, a grant-funded initiative launched in 2008 that is providing internships, mentoring and support to students transferring to four-year institutions and entering insurance careers. “It is community partnerships such as C3 that are helping the College fulfill its mission of creating educational access where it is needed most,” said Capital President Calvin E. Woodland, “ Tonight we acknowledge these achievements and share our student successes in the continuing effort to change lives at Capital.”
The C3 program has engaged 19 Capital students in less than two years with high rates of academic success and advancement to the baccalaureate level.
The panel discussion moderated by Colin McEnroe involved three students sharing the challenges of getting to college and how Capital faculty and programs made a difference. The panel included Amy Linker, an associate degree in nursing student working toward her RN licensure, Cesar Delgado, a C3 participant and graduate who now works at Travelers, and Capital graduate Horace Hamilton, a transfer student at CCSU.
In addition to Travelers, Changing Lives drew support from nine organizational and corporate sponsors including Gold sponsors ING Investment Services and MetLife and Benefactors AI Engineers, BKM Total Office, Community Renewal Team, Hartford Hospital, KPMG LLP and Saint Francis Foundation. Contributing to the event were Toast Wines and City Steam Brewery Café. Michael Ligon, an associate professor of Business and Technology, provided music for the evening.