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Keep the Dream Alive: Mitchell celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If Dr. King were here, I think he would say: ‘I still have a dream,’” said guest speaker, Reverend Timothy L. Bates during his speech at Mitchell Community College’s Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event on its Statesville Campus on January 16.

Bates is a pastor of two churches: Calvary and Cameron Presbyterian Church in Statesville, North Carolina, and founder of the Trinity Soldiers, Nightcrawlers and Man Up Monday program (which volunteers in over 20 schools). He currently serves on the Blanche and Julian Robertson Board, the Crosby Scholars Board and Gordon Hospice House Ethics Board, and has volunteered for Communities in School and Rowan Helping Ministries.

Bates recited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 “I have a Dream” speech as he interwove lessons for students.

“There will be times when you will want to stop, to turn back, to quit, when it seems like your dreams are impossible. There will be setbacks, obstacles, and defeat in the way,” said Bates. “Sometimes when you get discouraged – young people – remember that you need encouragement. You need somebody to tell you that you’re going to make it. That it will be alright.”

Bates told students to know that their words carry value, and to seek guidance from others when they’ve lost their way.

“And don’t forget to tell people about the dream,” concluded Bates. “Keep the dream alive.”

Mitchell’s students were involved in the program with Jason Houston, Culinary Arts student, leading invocation; Hope Ostane-Baucom, Agribusiness Technology student, providing a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Ronald Graham, Teacher Prep student, introducing the guest speaker.

Jason Houston and Kevin Little were recognized as the first ever recipients of Mitchell’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Dream Achiever Award. These students were recognized for their 4.0 GPA average and for selfless contributions to others while pursuing their studies at Mitchell.

“Dr. King was not only a civil rights leader but a champion for education. He once said, ‘We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of education,’” said Dr. JJ McEachern, VP for Student Services. “And I believe that students at Mitchell work with faculty and staff who are committed not only to their content in their class but building character among their students.”

Mitchell’s Man2Man minority males program was also recognized for its dedication to maximizing the academic outcomes of all minority male students. The purpose of this program is to address and increase the progression and completion rates of minority male students by offering professional coaching, guidance and mentoring, access to a network of on-campus peers, and social enrichment.

The following students, involved in Mitchell’s Man2Man minority male program, made the Fall 2023 Dean’s List and were recognized at the event:

  • Keside Alpho-Iruka
  • Jaiden Bell
  • Devon Caldwell
  • Myles Corbin
  • Tristan Easley
  • Donald Evuka
  • Ronald Graham
  • Jason Houston
  • Harold Jackson
  • Jazmond Journet
  • Joshua Kearney
  • Kevin Little
  • Anthony Murphy
  • Bilal Rasul
  • Kaleb Sales
  • Eric Seme
  • Jarrett Sharpe
  • Carter Shirley
  • Josiah Smith
  • Tristan Sparks
  • Brandon Williams