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For immediate release - Sept. 21, 2005

Media Alert

(DALLAS) –  Dr. Betty Young has gone “hog wild” – not because she’s from Ohio and hails from the nation’s farmland; instead, she’s riding her Harley to Hollywood on a quest to change the mind of one late-night entertainer, Jay Leno. The national “Lessons for Leno” tour, which highlights different aspects of community colleges and their prominent place in higher education, will stop in Dallas on Friday, Sept 23, to share that message during the National Community College Hispanic Council’s annual leadership conference.

Young will ride her Harley (the same model owned by Leno) to a press conference that will be held at 10:30 a.m. this Friday at the Westin City Central, 650 North Pearl, in Dallas (outside, at the end of the hotel’s front drive). Dr. Young will deliver her comments to a group of NCCHC conference participants; she will be joined by Dr. Jesus “Jess” Carreon, chancellor of the Dallas County Community Colleges (which is hosting both the conference and the “Lessons with Leno” visit); and Dr. George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. News media are invited.

The Dallas “Lessons for Leno” topic, which Carreon will discuss, is: Community colleges ensure access and opportunity for all Americans.

Young, who is president of Northwest State Community College (Ohio), takes exception to Leno’s frequent, disparaging comments about community college students during his late-night routines. “I’m not looking for an apology,” explains Young, who was a single mom with two jobs at age 28. She changed her life by earning an associate degree from a community college, followed by bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. She became president of NSCC in 2003. (Carreon also is a community college graduate.) 

“I want to provide Jay Leno with an opportunity to meet with me and to really begin to understand the importance of community colleges to the nation as whole. We must change the image of community college education which, in many respects, has been long tarnished by stereotypes and misconceptions.”

For more information or questions about the Friday press conference, call Ann Hatch, DCCC office of marketing and communications, at (214) 860-2478.