GtCNN Hosts Portland Community College Student Panel

Thursday, April 21, 2016

On Friday, April 25th, GtCNN and Gateway to College at Portland Community College hosted our Oregon Ambassador Council and friends at PCC for an a lunch and inspiring student panel. 

Gateway students Crystal, Ruby, and Mathias met GtCNN guests in the Community Hall and took the group on a tour of the campus, sharing a day in the life of a Gateway student. A highlight was a visit to the PCC Links offices, the space where students meet with tutors, mentors, and one another to discuss homework and some of the challenges and triumphs in their lives. The students spoke about how important it is to have a caring cohort of peers and coaches whenever needed in the Gateway program. 

“If I’m ever upset, or need help with homework or just someone to talk to, I can come here and talk to Hanna,” said Crystal of her Success Coach. “She’s amazing, and always here for me. That’s so important for me—to know that if I need her, I can just call.”

After touring the library and learning about the unlimited access the students have to college resources, a guest asked how much this costs the students. 

“Oh, it’s free. We have a small fee we pay at the beginning of term, but we’re all basically on scholarship. Our books, classes, everything—it’s all covered by Gateway,” said Ruby.

After sitting down for lunch, the student panel was joined by College Success Coach and all-around hero Jane Larson and Oregon Gateway Ambassador Alexander, a graduate from Gateway to College at PCC. The panel spoke about their difficult experiences in traditional high school, from feeling ignored and unchallenged to being harassed and bullied. Gateway students endure serious trials and come out stronger on the other side, pursuing their diploma and degree. 

It was an emotional experience for many of the students and guests. This brief but impactful afternoon highlighted to guests and staff how important and powerful the Gateway to College program is for students who need a second chance at education.

Please join us in May as we launch Gateway to Graduation and celebrate our students on their journeys to graduation and lifelong success!

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