Future of Education Luncheon: The Role of Education in Achieving the American Dream
Prince William, Virginia, April 17, 2014 – On April 8, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce held its annual, Future of Education Luncheon, that focuses on education as it relates to workforce development, STEM, elementary, secondary and higher education in our community. Through their scholarship program, the Prince William Chamber supports students who demonstrate academic excellence, clear career goals and community involvement. To qualify, applicants had to be the dependent of a Chamber member, or be a member themselves – just one more benefit the Chamber offers its membership.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Roger A. Ramsammy, Provost for Northern Virginia Community College – Manassas Campus, shared his own story that epitomized the theme of “The Role of Education in Achieving the American Dream.” In 1984, he arrived in the United States after leaving his home of Trinidad to become a doctor; however, it did not come without several hardships and sacrifices. His determination to succeed overshadowed his desperate living arrangements in homeless shelters, overnight stays in science labs, even finding refuge in college libraries. He eventually reached his dream and for more than 20 years, Dr. Ramsammy, has dedicated his life to serving students to ensure each had a better life than his own. He arrived at the NVCC community in September 2012, and has quickly demonstrated that he truly thinks outside-the-box with the approach to educating students of all ages. He summed up his vision for moving education forward with a quote from Tuli Kuffenberg, “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.”
During the luncheon, the Chamber also presented four $2,500 scholarships to graduating students who demonstrated a commitment to both academic success and community involvement. The recipients were Hannah Majchrowitz, sponsored by MTCI- Management and Training Consultants, Inc., who will be graduating from the AP Scholars & Gifted Education Program at Woodbridge High School. She wants to pursue a degree in education where she can influence the minds of future generations and help them recognize their individual potential. Hannah then plans to attend Christopher Newport University in the fall. Kayla McDonald, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, will be graduating as a Cambridge Student from Potomac High School. Kayla wants to pursue a degree in neuroscience to help the general public and athletes understand the effects of concussions and other traumas that can affect the brain. She has been accepted into the Honor’s program at George Mason University and will be attending there this fall. Karen Tran, sponsored by Everest College, will be graduating from Battlefield High School and wants to pursue a degree in the biomedical field at Virginia Tech. She plans to ultimately attend medical school so she can impact the community through lifesaving inventions.
Michael Sibilo, sponsored by University of Maryland University College (UMUC), will be completing his Associates of Applied Science degree in Biotechnology on the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. After losing his father at the age of 9, and being forced to live with various family members, Michael dropped out of school at the age of 17. He went back to school at the age of 22 to complete his GED, and has dedicated himself to education with hopes of earning his PhD in Biotechnology. Michael strives to be an example for other first generation students who have struggled during humble beginnings, only to overcome obstacles to realize there is always hope and opportunity for those who seek it.
Bill White, the Chairman of the Board for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, summed up the program with the words, “The members of the Prince William Chamber are the businesses and community organizations behind the success stories of our region. We would like to thank every single company and individual who has contributed to the scholarship program this year.”
Apple Federal Credit Union served as the events main sponsor. The Prince William Chamber’s Quality of Life Vision Partner is Minnieland Academy. The speaker sponsor was Virginia Lottery.
About the Prince William Chamber of Commerce
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is the strongest voice for the business community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region. Together with our diverse membership, representing nearly 70,000 employees we work to create an environment where business and people thrive. To accomplish this, we focus our efforts in the key areas of business growth, economic development, advocacy, education and community outreach. In this way, we are building a solid foundation for the success of our business members and our community. For more information, visit our website at www.pwchamber.org or call the Prince William Chamber at 703-368-6600.