Editorial: Hope fueled by education

Changes and challenges go hand in hand these days, no matter where you look. The economy, environment, health ... the list of what requires attention now and in the future goes on and on.

These changes and challenges in our world are daunting. Sometimes, it can seem so overwhelming and discouraging. One can understand the temptation to throw up one’s hands and give up — or close one’s eyes to all of this and pretend there are no issues that call for urgent solutions.

It’s hope — sturdy, steadfast hope — that gives us the optimism that there are answers to challenges that confront us individually, as a community, a region, nation and, even as a world. What fuels that hope, and provides for better understanding of the challenges as well as ways to overcome them is, in a word, education.

Education opens doors. Education allows one to acquire the tools to respond to what needs fixing. Education offers a way to change one’s life for the better.

All of this is well understood at Greenfield Community College. Perhaps that’s why the theme for this year’s annual fundraising campaign is “Inspiring Hope Through Education.” As Robert Pura, college president, put it when talking about this year’s campaign, “Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity. That is what we do every day at GCC, by opening the doors to higher education for all who seek to create a better life for themselves and their families.

“We do not do that alone. GCC’s ability to keep our doors open to all is made possible by each and every member of our communities.”

This year, the goal is to raise $825,000 by May 31. In the past, the money raised by the annual foundation campaign has been able to keep open the door to opportunities at GCC in several ways: for scholarships, staff development, materials for the library and other areas.

In turn, this provides all kinds of people — new graduates from high school, those wanting to return to school, someone looking to make a change in their employment or staying current with the latest developments in their field — an avenue for learning and the place where hope can grow.

Just this week, the foundation received a donation of $100,000 that aimed at a 2-to-1 match for new contributors. This is an excellent way to reach this year’s goal and then some.

We urge our readers in the next two weeks to help Greenfield Community College reach its goal by making a donation. You can do so by mailing a check to the GCC Foundation, 270 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01301 or online through www.gcc.mass.edu/give.

It’s an investment in education and hope, now and for the future.

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