By Dr. Rolita Flores Ezeonu

Each time I am asked to speak to our students at Highline College, I quote the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The speech that I tend to cite is when King asks young people, “What is your life’s blueprint?” In this speech, King encourages young people to keep on keeping on toward their goals, even if it means studying well into the night.

Rolita Flores EzeonuHe also says, “If you can’t be a bush, be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

I tend to quote this speech because I strongly believe in our students and want them to believe that, no matter their circumstance or path, that they can reach their goals.

Our students are varied and come from diverse backgrounds. Our students are the first in their families to go to college/higher education. Our students include immigrants, refugees, and Running Start and International students who come to us from all over the world. Our students come from varying degrees of economic statuses and different ethnic/cultural backgrounds. I believe that those, like our students who have not traditionally been seen in colleges and universities, should be represented in higher education. …

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This article was originally published in the print edition of the Federal Way Mirror on November 4, 2016.

About the Author

Dr. Rolita Flores Ezeonu earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Washington State University and holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Seattle University. Since 2008, she has served as Dean of Instruction of Transfer and Pre-College Education at Highline College, where she has worked since 2001. She and her husband have two teenage children.

About Highline Voices

The Highline Voices series brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other guest columns: “Urban Natives in South King County” by Tanya Powers, “Why I Do What I Do“ by Liz Word and “Intersectionality: What’s Really in the Word?” by Joshua Magallanes. All Highline employees are welcome to contribute to the series. Email Tanya Powers or Kari Coglon Cantey for guidelines.