In a moment of brilliance, famed NCAA Division I Basketball Coach Pat Summit once declared that “life is what it is, but it will be what you make it.”
In the weeks and months that we all have been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, those words have resonated deeply with me as I consider what to say to our students; my colleagues in higher education and the high school graduating class of 2020. Indeed, there have been moments of personal and professional frustration for everyone. No one enjoys having their routine totally and irreparably disrupted, but as leaders, we are called to move, think and plan beyond the current situation so that we are positioned for success on the other side of this pandemic. To the Class of 2020, know that your perseverance has prepared each of you as leaders in your own right, and now is the time to move, think, and plan for your future.
At Atlanta Technical College (ATC), I am fortunate to lead a campus that has been laser-focused on producing top-notch, career-ready professionals for a global workforce. Our graduates are thriving in some of the most competitive fields in our region, and are making a significant contribution to the metro Atlanta economy. We educate and train many of Atlanta’s chefs, nurses, barbers, accountants, HVAC technicians, cybersecurity technicians, hoteliers, truck drivers, and our curriculum covers over 150 other academic concentrations.
In this our 53rd year, we are proud of the thousands of lives we have impacted and the opportunities we have been able to create for so many individuals and families. And as we contend with the ramifications of the pandemic, I believe that ATC is uniquely positioned and prepared to have an even greater impact on our community and the economy by offering individuals a path toward being a productive and competitive force in tomorrow’s job market. Again, success, from my scholastic perspective, represents the sum of academic preparation and the ambitious pursuit of opportunities.
ATC is that place where those equations become reality as 99% our graduates land careers after graduation – ranging from our essential heroes keeping the nation moving during our current health crisis to successful entrepreneurs who have boldly blazed their own professional paths.
What does life look like as we emerge from COVID-19? Undoubtedly, there will be a greater focus on competently trained service and technical workers. At ATC, we are embracing our role in training and retooling displaced workers as an integral step towards rebuilding the workforce and stabilizing the economy as businesses rebound from the pandemic. Higher education is a business, and while institutions of higher education have taken a major financial blow as a result of the pandemic, our community and technical colleges are in a strong position to lead the conversation about what’s next and being instructive and prescriptive in providing recovery strategies for people and businesses alike.
To the Class of 2020, I challenge you to think boldly as we emerge from this pandemic and pursue your goals with relentless zeal and unwavering persistence. In the words of LeBron James, recently shared during the nationally televised “Graduate Together” event, “After all this, you guys are prepared for anything.” I could not agree more.
At ATC, we understand that educating future leaders and an essential workforce is an all-encompassing, ever-changing journey. Our comprehensive technical training programs are an incomparable asset in strengthening the network of the workforce and economic ecosystems, not just in Georgia but across the nation. ATC is prepared to offer the high school graduating class of 2020 with a proven path towards career acceleration and economic stability – a path that rivals many 4-year degree programs for a fraction of the cost. The opportunities for success have never been greater for ATC or for individuals ready to flourish on the other side of this global pandemic and economic crisis.
The door for your future is wide open and ATC is ready to receive you with open arms.
ABOUT ATLANTA TECHNICAL COLLEGE
Atlanta Technical College is a vibrant part of the Technical College System of Georgia and was named its College of the Year in 2012. Prior to that, the college was selected as America’s Best Community College by Washington Monthly magazine. Most recently, Atlanta Technical College has been ranked as one of the best in the nation for online courses and programs. In 2017, Atlanta Technical College celebrated 50 years of serving the City of Atlanta along with Fulton and Clayton Counties. For more information on Atlanta Technical College and its 150 programs, visit www.atlantatech.edu.
ABOUT DR. VICTORIA SEALS
Dr. Victoria Seals is the sixth president of Atlanta Technical College and came to the College after serving several years as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Named among the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “Who’s Who in Education” in May 2017, Dr. Seals serves as a board member with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Horizons Atlanta, and Work Source Atlanta. In addition to Board service with the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, she also chaired the Chamber’s 2019 Economic Development Committee. Dr. Seals received a B. S. in mathematics from Spelman College. She continued her studies at the University of Georgia where she received an M.A. in mathematics, an Ed.S. in mathematics education, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership.