I was fortunate enough to receive one of the ten $1,000 Alumni Learner Association (“ALA”) scholarships from Granite State College last spring. When asked this year to volunteer for the annual Alumni scholarship phone-a-thon I jumped at the opportunity. This is how I spent my Sunday afternoon/evening this week. Our calling lists consisted of former adult education diploma recipients, alumni of Granite State College. For those of you unfamiliar with our location we, in the State of New Hampshire, are currently under a State of Emergency due to the widespread damage sustained from a storm last Thursday. Many residents are still without power. I assume this is the reason why I received the same message over and over again during my call attempts, “the number you have dialed is not in service.”
Undeterred by the numerous phone service problems I ploughed through my list determined to reach as many alumni as I was able. I reached countless people on their cell phones huddled around the woodstove with their family members trying to stay safe and warm while they awaited the coming of their fourth night without power. All were grateful for their safety and happy to speak with me. Some had trees sitting on top of their roofs, campers, garages and driveways. Even in such immediate bleak circumstances most were happy to donate what they could. That may have been only $5.00 or $10.00 but they gladly pledged to their alma mater, to help those who are now in the position they found themselves in not long ago, that of an student pursuing their adult college degree.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to reach out and speak to so many of the students who came before me, who struggled, fought and ultimately earned their long awaited degrees by enrolling in Granite State College’s adult college program. I was amazed by the generosity, appreciation and tenacity of our alumni. I have a lot to live up to when I become an official alumnus this June. I look forward to joining this group and plan on carrying my weight in this regard.