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Student Advocacy Day

Last week, some of AACC's students virtually traveled to Annapolis to connect with their elected officials during Student Advocacy Day! Student Advocacy Day is a time for Maryland college students to advocate for strong state support of the community college mission, affordable access to quality higher education and preparing the workforce for the careers that keep Maryland businesses, schools, emergency services and infrastructure running every day.

These student participants shared their stories about why they chose to attend AACC, why community colleges are important and how the state can help. Check out what one of our students, Sydney Klabnik, had to say:

I was able to participate in an awesome AACC event from the safety of my home – the Maryland Association of Community College’s Virtual Advocacy Day!

Even if it was just for a few hours, participating in Advocacy Day made me feel like I was making a tangible impact. I got to meet with all three of my legislators: Senator Sarah Elfreth (D-30), Delegate Shaneka T. Henson (D-30A), and Delegate Dana Jones (D-30A). Technically, I met with a staffer of Del. Dana Jones’ office … but I was excited nonetheless! I got the chance to meet with other delegates/staffers who represent Anne Arundel County, with the goal being to effectively communicate what AACC needs from our legislators.

For students like me who have found their way to AACC after previous unsuccessful attempts at making college work, AACC’s affordability is critical. I still have some debt from the few semesters I completed at a four-year college. When AACC’s tuition stays low, I can focus on my classes without additional financial stress. That’s why I spoke to my legislators about continuing their support for the governor’s operating budget, which allocates crucial financial support to ensure that our Maryland community colleges are fully funded (and helps keep my tuition affordable)!

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially the moments of downtime when I got to interact with my fellow students. As an all-virtual student, I always appreciate the chance to speak with my peers (yes, even over Zoom!). The students who joined me for Advocacy Day were super rad. I feel confident in saying we made our mark! I look forward to representing AACC in the future. Go Riverhawks!

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