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By Marielle McGregor
Last month North Lake College asked students on social media, “Who is your hero?” Within minutes the college began receiving responses on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Every reply shared one similarity: a spirit of gratitude.
“These guys are my heroes because they opened up a new world to me,” photography student Sam McMahan said of his instructors. NLC student Elizabeth Rosas also chimed in, explaining how her math professor helped her pass online trigonometry, after Rosas had failed in another trigonometry class the previous semester. “[Marie Korhmann] took the time to help me with whatever I needed, no matter how long it took. Math and I do not get along, but she walked me through everything until I got it,” said Rosas.
With spring Return Week approaching, North Lake decided to use these "hero stories" to create superhero trading cards of their faculty and professional support staff. They branded them NLC Everyday Heroes. In each card, excerpts from the students' responses are listed beneath the employee photo, while the employees' fun, imagined superpowers are listed on the right.
“We don’t decide if we are heroes, our students do,” said Interim President Christa Slejko, addressing a room full of employees. “And what an honor that you all are heroes in the eyes of those who matter most.”
Slejko’s words bring about an important point: our DCCCD faculty and staff are among the real heroes of our time: not celebrities or athletes, but those who work so hard, every day, often for little or no praise.
Our “everyday heroes” are financial aid advisors who help a student complete their first FAFSA, faculty who work late to hang a new gallery show and athletic coaches acting as mentors, friends and sometimes even parents, to their team.