Each spring, hundreds of Florida College System students and leaders visit the Capital for three days as part of the year-end conference for the Florida College System Student Government Association (FCSSGA). While here, they have the opportunity to participate in community service activities, engage with legislators and other state leaders, and hold meetings to help guide the organization’s direction.
FCSSGA represents the nearly one million students enrolled in the Florida College System’s 28 colleges, and I was honored to speak to these students on two different occasions.
On Wednesday evening, I shared the stage with Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera as we celebrated our state’s next generation of leaders with a kickoff dinner. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many bright students and their college leaders, and I was especially pleased Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera could join us because, as a Miami Dade College graduate, he is a shining example of the success Florida College System graduates can achieve.
As he delivered an inspiring speech about his time at Miami Dade College and how it prepared him for a successful future, I was reminded that many of these students – and thousands more around Florida – would soon be joining our workforce and I was filled with pride. I know that, as a result of the outstanding education Florida colleges offer, so many of these students will have the opportunity to pursue and achieve their own version of the American Dream.
That thought was still on my mind Thursday morning when I had the chance to recognize the All-Florida Academic Team, a collection of our College System’s best and brightest students from every corner of the state.
The success of all our students will reverberate far beyond their own homes and communities. It will impact all of today’s Floridians, as well as our future generations, who will benefit from their contributions. More than 90 percent of Florida College System graduates stay in the state and that is wonderful because their talent makes Florida a leader in job creation and a global destination for businesses and families.
My message today is three-fold. To all of our students, from pre-K early learners to thriving college students, keep up the good work! You are the leaders of tomorrow and we are rooting for you. For educators and administrators at all levels, thank you for all that you do every day to make Florida a great place to learn. To parents, I assure you we are committed to ensuring your sons/daughters receive a world class education and we appreciate the encouragement you provide throughout their education journey. You make all the difference.
To learn more about the Florida College System, visit www.floridacollegesystem.com.