I would like to respond to the letter last week titled “Education has declined here at CMC.” I personally have first-hand knowledge of several occasions of CMC students as volunteers in our community. As many people know, the Lions Club cuts fresh Christmas trees each year and sells them to help raise funds for the programs we support throughout Lake County. In recent years, CMC students have helped us with this task. This has been a huge relief to our aching backs that we have greatly appreciated! And, we’ve had so much fun having them along!

Also, I have served on the Leadville BBQ Committee since the inaugural year. Every year, we have enjoyed and appreciated the support of CMC not only through the donation of supplies and space, but by the essential participation of students and staff in volunteering for this event. In fact, they have been encouraged to do so.

I completely agree that our community benefits from well-rounded graduates. Students that live in the residence halls are required to do 30 hours of community service. The students that I have met and heard stories about seem to fit that “well-rounded” description. Time and again, I have heard stories about how meaningful this campus has been to students in their path to better themselves and their lives through education. I’ve even heard of staff members taking a personal interest in students to make their living or working situations more palatable. That says to me that CMC is like a family and they want to see their community succeed. Surely, that filters into the larger Lake County community at some point?

My daughter will soon be in a position to take advantage of the concurrent-enrollment option. This option is a huge leg up for so many families and students now that the enormous cost of education has become a barrier to many students in continuing their higher education. I am also relieved that our students have the option to look at professional certificates if they choose, in order to enter the workforce sooner and apply for positions that are sorely needed and in severe shortage. Our campus certainly can’t be all things to all people, but I think it has done an excellent job of listening to community members and employers as to what our emerging needs are.

One final observation on my part: I have organized or been a part of dozens of community events (mostly non-profits) since I came here in 2001. In my experience, if CMC has been asked to take part in helping in some way, be that sponsorship, volunteers, providing space, or almost anything else, there has rarely been a time where there has been resistance. I can’t think of an organization more “…imbedded or involved in Leadville/Lake County’s nonprofit life.”

Thank you CMC students and staff! I see you and appreciate you and this community wouldn’t be the same without you!

Amy Tait

Lake County

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