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Pretty much any way you slice it, "Emily Griffith Technical College" is a more boring name than was the "Opportunity School" that used to be in the title -- but the change is bigger than just how it rolls of the tongue. It also represents a slowly dying hope for the poor huddled masses, posited Susan Froyd in her piece last week lamenting the name change. But reader Slavica, dean of instruction of English as a second language at the EGTC, begs to differ.
Thank you so much for caring enough about the future of our school to write about it in your blog. As I personally might feel a little bit of nostalgia about the word "Opportunity" being taken out of our name, I can assure you that this still is very much a place of hope and new beginnings for many of our students.
I am Dean of Instruction of English as a Second Language at Emily Griffith Technical College and I can tell you firsthand this place has offered me, personally, nothing but courage, hope and opportunity. I started as a student in our ESL Department 14 years ago and became the Dean of the largest and oldest ESL program in the state of Colorado only five years after I arrived here as a refugee from war-torn Bosnia.
I agree with you that the world has changed a lot since 1916 and so have the immigration laws or simply acceptance as you call it, but that is not the case when it comes to Emily Griffith Technical College...and I strongly believe that will not change as a result of our name change. The name "college" means a lot to our students, as we learned when many of them voted for our name change. Times have changed, indeed, and today newcomers perceive more opportunity coming from an accredited college than from a school by any other name.
While you or I cannot change the whole world to make it more accepting, we can most certainly start with ourselves--you with the acceptance of our new name and me with making sure that this wonderful institution, that I am so proud to be a part of, remains a bountiful source of hope and opportunity, regardless of what it is named.
Please, come and visit us sometime; I would love to show you all the great things we do here and how we (still) promote acceptance, peace, and education for all who wish to learn.