• Felecia Gilmore-Long

From Our President & CEO | cdc monthly - May 2018

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams."

-- Oprah Winfrey

May is always a special time to recognize major achievements and mark the start of new adventures.

Each new graduation season brings families and even entire communities together in celebration of the year's new graduates--whose promise and potential are as bright as Florida's summer sunshine.

In preparing some brief remarks for the celebration we host each May for graduating seniors who've been part of CDC's Youth Leadership Movement (YLM), I began to thumb through some quotations in hopes of finding something 'just right' that would crystallize the sentiments I really wanted to share with the Class of 2018.

What was it about the quote from Ms. Winfrey above that brought my search to an end? There were two things, in particular.

First and foremost, it's Oprah. She is one of the most sought-after commencement speakers on campuses around the country each and every year, and since I haven't (yet) convinced her to speak at our YLM Senior Celebration event, imparting some of her wisdom seemed like the next best option.

Second, as inspiring as I think the quotation is, I felt like it left an opening for me to share the most important thing on my mind--the one message that I wanted to be sure was heard loudly and clearly by every single student in the room. I wanted each of them to remember that:

As you go forth "to live the life of your dreams," you will always have people at

CDC of Tampa who care about you, and who are willing to help

make each new dream a reality.

Because, after all, that's what we're all about.

Our mission is to create opportunities for people to build prosperous futures and vibrant communities--not only through educational attainment, but also through career readiness and sustainable homeownership and new business development and much more....

When members of the Class of 2018 return home from school in four years with one (or more) college degrees, we want them to remember both the valuable lessons learned as past participants in the Youth Leadership Movement -and- that we're here to help them put those diplomas to work, become first-time homeowners, start new businesses, and eventually take up the mantle of community leadership.

Of course, emphasizing CDC of Tampa's commitment to the future success of this year's graduating class only serves to underscore the countless blessings of time, talent and treasure shared by so many community champions over the years. These gifts have not only sustained our organization, they have allowed us to deepen and broaden our efforts to positively impact so many of Tampa's people and places.

That's why in this edition of CDC Monthly, we've chosen to:

  • Highlight the sights and sounds of our "Moment In Time" Senior Celebration;

  • Profile one of the outstanding members of our Youth Success Center team; and

  • Announce the date, location and details for our 2018 luncheon that promises to be a celebration of people and partners--like you--who are champions for Tampa's future!

If you are inspired by what you read, please share it with others who might be moved as well. I also hope you'll consider showing your continued support for CDC's mission by making a gift today -or- at our Community Development Champions Luncheon in October.

May the next month be full of new opportunities for you and your family to "live the life of your dreams." And, as always, thank you for being a special part of our CDC of Tampa community!

#cdcmonthly #FromOurPresCEO


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