JBC Graduates Told To Lead, Learn From Past Mistakes

County Executive George Borrello speaks during Jamestown Community College’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. P-J photo By Jordan Patterson

“You have the elements within you to be that person. To be a leader,” County Executive George Borrello said to Jamestown Business College students moments before they officially graduated.

JBC held its 132nd Annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday in the First Lutheran Church in Jamestown. Inside the church, the soon-to-be business graduates filed into their seats accompanied by a version of “Pomp and Circumstance,” by E. Elger.

In Borrello’s address, he was optimistic the business school graduates would contribute to world and the economy as business owners. He referenced his first 100 days in office where he met with 107 local businesses around the county. He told graduates those businesses need qualified individuals and was confident those individuals were sitting before him.

“So this is what I hope for all of you. That you too become a successful part of our economy and of our community,” Borrello said. “That you choose your own path in life but a path that makes you a leader. Not just a business leader but a community leader. We need leaders here in our county. We need more people willing to give back.

“Congratulations on your success today. Be proud of what you’ve achieved. But understand that this only the beginning,” he continued. “You will no longer be guided by text books or teachers in a classroom. It will be your own path and you will be your own guide.”

Jamestown Business College graduates participated in their commencment ceremony at the First Lutheran Church in Jamestown on Saturday. County Executive George Borrello was in attendance as the ceremony's guest speaker. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

David Conklin, JBC president, offered words of wisdom and was the first to congratulate the students. Instead of giving advice on becoming successful in business, he told them simple concepts he incorporates in his life.

“Graduates, strive to keep things simple, don’t spread rumors, avoid drama, accept that as humans we are flawed creatures and make mistakes. However, work hard to not make the same mistake twice,” he said. ” I have tried to live by this in both life and work. It has served me well; it can also serve you.”

Deb Miller, a faculty member at JBC, spoke to the students and believed that each of them could inspire and do so while not even knowing it. She encouraged them to embrace their unique path and do the impossible.

“You may just be the person to inspire someone to do something they currently think is impossible,” she said.

Miller closed with a quote from Audrey Hepburn.

“‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible,'” she said reciting Hepburn.

The students lined up, took the stage and were awarded their diplomas. They had officially completed one part of their journey, and were on to the next.