As Black History Month came to an end, it was only natural that focus shifted to honoring the next generation and their accomplishments
Cosumnes River College celebrated their 14th Annual Honors Program by recognizing outstanding students of African descent with the grade point average of 3.1 or better, according to the event program.
The night started off with the Negro National Anthem, performed by Valley High School’s “Royal Blue Regiment” drum line as the crowd sang along.
The Black History Month Committee hosted the event to highlight students’ accomplishments in school, but also their community.
“Some of these students have two jobs, are parents and are enrolled in multiple colleges within the Los Rios District,” said Student Senate President Christina Alvarado. “All have showed dedication to their education and their futures.”
During the event, the BHMC highlighted CRC alumna and keynote speaker Jan Bernard for her education and the work she has demonstrated within the community.
“Growing up in my household my mother once told me ‘why stand out because you’re black,’” Bernard said. “Since then that became the first step in me knowing who I was.”
Bernard was recently recognized for her continuing role in the community by the Sacramento Observer, a Sacramento based Black newspaper.
The power of the word no, articulating what it is that you want in life and knowing what you are good at were three points that Bernard emphasized.
“Saying no is a part of the journey,” Bernard said. “When you are saying no, you are saying yes to another opportunity.”
Torence Powell, Dean of Communication and Performing Arts thought Bernard’s words were inspiring to come from a young figure that is still making her mark in the community.
“I think Jan came from a great point of view but a very realistic point of view,” said Powell. “The best point that she gave was to be well planned, plan your life out.”
Afterwards, the BHMC proceeded on stage to hand out the awards to the students.
“I felt honored to recognized for my academic excellence,” said 23-year-old liberal arts major Shalanda Allen. “It was nice to see that all my struggles and hard work finally paid off.”
Allen also emphasized the importance of Black History Month stating the history traditions, and pioneers should be celebrated and always remembered.
Without a nationally recognized month the young people of today will lose the essence of the power and struggle our people faced in order for us to have the liberties and freedoms we enjoy today, Allen said.
Campus Life Coordinator Dr. Winnie Lanier stressed the goal of pursuing more degrees after graduation from CRC as it shows character and that you care about the outcome of your life.
“Having an event like this gives you one of those moments that affirms why we do what we do to nurture the human spirit and intellect,” Lanier said. “We need to dispel the myth that African-Americans are not scholars but a force in this society.”