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Our Community College Initiative (CCI) students just returned from the annual leadership conference called “Pathways to Success” in Arizona. They were joined by Vanessa Singh, our CCI Program Manager at Valencia, and approximately 200 CCI students from other colleges around the U.S.

The CCI program is an exchange sponsored by the Department of State in cooperation with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). It is a highly competitive scholarship for international students to spend up to one academic year at a U.S. community college to complete a certificate program with the intention of using the technical and leadership skills gained to make a powerful impact within their home communities. This year we are hosting 12 students representing seven different countries, including Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ghana, South Africa, Turkey, India, and Indonesia. Since 2016, Valencia College has proudly welcomed CCI students, and we have over 100 alumni who have graduated from our various certificate programs.

As part of this 4-day conference, our students attended seminars and workshops on topics such as:

  • Leadership Development: Strengths Essentials
  • Alumni Panel: Before, During, and Beyond the CCI Program—How the CCI Program Impacts You and Your Community
  • Intercultural Conflict
  • Media Literacy: Becoming a Smarter Consumer of Media
  • Community Impact and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Empowering Innovation: Problem-Solving and Collaboration

The program also integrated sightseeing and cultural activities including a trip to the Grand Canyon!

Vanessa Singh emphasized that “This conference is an important part of the program because it teaches them critical skills and competencies needed for becoming global leaders in their home communities.” And the feedback from the CCI students was overwhelmingly positive. As one CCI student, Vishal Kumar, noted, “The Pathway to Success Program was a rich learning experience for me. It broadened my horizons, fostering personal and professional development through a diverse range of experiences and insights.” We are so proud of our CCI students and all they have accomplished during this program and look forward to hearing about their success stories in the future!

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