In the words of Pikes Peak Community College Foundation Board Chair Tyson Nunn, “We want everyone to get excited about education.” He rallied that excitement at a President’s Dinner on Feb. 21 at Garden of the Gods Resort.

The board, staff, supporters and volunteers cheered big numbers: 19,000 PPCC students this school year and more than $1.2 million in scholarships available from the foundation to go along with Pell grants.

PPCC President Lance Bolton talked about successes and growth in the medical fields, where the RN program has been rated top in the state, and the “importance of filling a pipeline” in workforce. In addition, high school students are getting credits in college-level classes during high school. In Harrison District 2, a Dakota Promise program brings a tuition-free investment by PPCC for those with 2.5 GPAs.

PPCC also has a focus on “closing the achievement gap for male students of color. We have a responsibility,” Bolton said firmly.

An inspiration and look at the future came digitally from Mike Blandina of Bakkt in Atlanta, who has a PPCC connection and has assisted PPCC digital engineers. Work experience includes Google, PayPal, American Express and more, and his casual talk was sprinkled with digital technology, Bitcoin and blockchains.

More photos: gazette.com/life/around-town

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