Second lady Jill Biden visits LIC’s LaGuardia Community College

COURIER/Photos by Anthony Giudice

It was a (vice) presidential affair Wednesday morning at LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) in Long Island City, as the second lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, visited high school and college students to speak about the importance of community colleges at the school’s Heads Up America open house event.

Dr. Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is currently a full-time professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College and believes that community colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets.”

“Dr. Jill Biden is here because of her passionate belief in your future,” said Dr. Gail Mellow, LAGCC president. “She knows that if we’re going to have an America that is strong and effective that what we have to do is really think about education, your education.”

Biden has used her experience as a teacher and her position as second lady to host the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Barack Obama in 2010, and travel across the country as part of the “Community College to Career” tour to highlight the many successful industry partnerships between community colleges and employers in 2012.

“Community colleges can offer you an affordable route to a four-year college and a good paying job,” Biden said. “As second lady, I’ve traveled all across this country and I’ve visited a lot of community colleges so I know what makes community colleges so special.”

The Heads Up America open house event at LAGCC is one of more than 80 open houses being held this fall at community colleges across the nation, informing students and teachers alike of the benefits of the Heads Up America initiative.

“That’s why we’re are here today, because of you, because of the students,” Biden said. “President Obama and I believe all students, new and returning, should be able to graduate ready for the new economy without being saddled with decades of debt, because it’s so hard to get ahead when you start off so far behind. So earlier this year the president announced his plan to lower the cost of community college to zero. The idea is simple: if you’re willing to work for it, the first two years of community college is free.”

This is the main concept of the Heads Up America initiative. Over 9 million students per year would benefit from two free years of community college, according to Biden, allowing them to focus on their school work and not have to worry about spending so much money on tuition. The Heads Up America initiative would save a full-time community college student $3,800 per year.

For more information about Heads Up America, visit their website.

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