What Stirs Your Soul

Hands supporting heart

I called my daughter this past weekend to check up on her. You know, as a parent does, no matter the age of their child. When she answered, she asked me if everything was ok. When I said “yes”, she let me know she’d have to call me back. She informed me that she was getting the last of the “blessing bags” ready for the people who weren’t fortunate enough to make it into the homeless shelter for the evening.

Blessing Bags

The usual things were in the bags like soap, deodorant, toothpaste, two dollars, a sandwich, a few other things—but there was also something else. In each care package, she put something that she personally baked. Doing something for others stirs her soul. She describes her mixing ingredients together with two purposes—giving a smile, and showing that someone cares.

Starting the Semester

It made me think about the semester we’re about to embark on and our collective purpose at FRCC. We have the privilege of knowing more about education than most. After all, we’ve had 49 fall semesters under our belt! What makes us special is that we are stirred to start with the basics. Before we ever embark on all the onboarding stuff, we are able reach each student with a smile and a demonstration of genuine care.

We’ve Got You

We know things. Lots of things. And we are very good at imparting what we know to our students inside and outside of the classroom. What makes us special is that we make a commitment to helping our students on their path to personal development as well as helping them achieve academically. We reach out with compassion to say, “You got this. You’re here now and we got you. I got you.”

One Connection at a Time

I am not so crazy to think that we can all do it for everyone, but I dare to believe that each of us can do this for someone. When we do, the enrollment rates, student success rates, retention rates—you know all the things we work so hard to affect—will rise because what the data does show is that when we are stirred to make sincere connections with our students, they persist.

As we embark on the start of semester craziness, think of what stirs your soul to make a difference—one student at a time.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian McKnight-Tutein is vice president of academic and student affairs at Front Range Community College.