OMD Honors 200 Community College Student Graduates


One Million Degrees (OMD) honored 200 graduates from 10 Chicago-area community colleges on June 19 at its annual Scholar Awards Night as Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he is “so proud of what you have accomplished.” As OMD Scholars move forward to a four-year college or begin a promising career, Emanuel, keynote speaker for the capstone event, said: “I am 100% positive about the City of Chicago because of what I see in this room.”

The Scholar Awards, held at Chase Bank Auditorium, where graduates were joined by families and supporters, recognize the achievements of Chicago area community college Scholars – highly-motivated, high-potential students at the seven City Colleges of Chicago and three suburban colleges. In highly personal remarks to the graduates, Emanuel cited his own health and career setbacks, and cautioned the Scholars to expect further challenges that will define “what you are made of.” Praising the comprehensive range of OMD supports to help students succeed in school, work and in life, Emanuel urged the graduates: “Take everything One Million Degrees has given you, and now show the rest of the world. You are walking through the door of opportunity. The best thing you can do is to reach back, help someone who has stumbled, and pull them through.”

Also honored at the ceremony were:

• Jennifer Galan, Most Improved Scholar, from Harold Washington College
• Luis Gonzales, Staff Member of the Year, Program Coordinator, Harry S. Truman College
• Katie Dorpinghaus, One in a Million Award, Finance and Data Analytics Manager
• Diana Alfaro, Coach of the Year, who works at DePaul University

View the full press release here and view pictures of the event here