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US-Based Madison College Hails RVIBS for Helping Students Study Abroad

By December 13, 2023News

BY: Communication Team

Geoff Bradshaw, a vice president at Madison Area Technical College, has hailed RVIBS college for creating partnerships abroad that will see Kenyan students transit to study in the US.

Speaking during RVIBS’ 19th graduation ceremony held on Friday December 8, 2023 at the college’s Nakuru Campus, Bradshaw said the partnership will be a great path for Kenyan students especially those in Nakuru.

In a game changer kind of partnership between RVIBS and Madison Technical Area College, students now have a pathway for proceeding to the US on a student visa.

Graduates during RVIBS’s 19th graduation ceremony. Photo/Martin Kuria

Here is the full speech by Bradshaw during the graduation ceremony:

I am honored to speak with you today to showcase RVIBS international partnerships and highlight the values of global and technical education.  But first and foremost I want to honor and celebrate all of you.  This day is truly about your accomplishment and taking the time to reflect on this milestone in your life journey.  Hongereni- Congratulations

I am a vice president at Madison Area Technical College, a community and technical college in the United States that serves more than 30,000 students each year.  Our college was founded in 1912, and has over 100 years of experience helping to grow a skilled workforce, and provide access and opportunity for students of all backgrounds.  And just like you, we take time each year to celebrate our graduates and the hard work they have done to make it to their graduation day.

Our college has a slogan, “Transforming Lives, every day.”  We use this slogan to describe what we do as educators and the impact that we have on our student’s lives.  And it is a joy to work for an institution that does precisely that – we provide students with a key to better jobs, pathways to continue towards a bachelor’s degree, and opportunities to come back at any point in one’s life to get new skills or change careers.

Each year at our graduation, it never ceases to touch my heart when I see the students who have earned their degrees or certificates, and also see these students’ families and know how much this educational opportunity means for all of them.   For the parents who are watching their child move on to a new stage in their life, for the husband or wife who has stayed up late while the student has been studying or has helped them get up early to get off to class.  For the children of the single mother who share in their mom’s pride of finally getting their degree.  Or for that special teacher, or friend who gave needed encouragement to sustain their path of pursuing their educational goals.  For most of us, there was someone else who helped us complete our higher education journey, so please join me in taking a moment to give a round of applause for those special people who might be in the room celebrating with you today. [Pause/Clap]

I also want to congratulate you on earing a technical degree.  When I think of transforming lives, I know that not only will your education help you on a career that can help support yourself and your families, but also that the lives of every person in our society, are touched every day by the work of technical graduates.

From the emergency medical technicians and health workers who literally keep us alive in times of crisis, to the engineers who keep our electrical lines, cars, and buildings safe, to the hospitality workers who care for us when we are traveling, to the IT, communications and media workers who allow us to communicate with each other and the rest of the world, and the fashion and design teams who shape the spaces in which we live and the ways we express ourselves to others.  As you move on with your new technical certificate or diploma, always remember that you will touch the lives of others every day, and your actions and your work will have ripple effects of transforming the lives of everyone around you.  Congratulations on earning your RVIBS credentials and I hope that you take pride in knowing the impact of your technical training on others every day.

Lastly, I am visiting Nakuru today, because I work in the field of international education. RVIBS has been a leader in building international partnerships to connect your college with the rest of the world.  We live today in a world that is bound together in millions of ways.  Economically, socially, and politically, what happens in one part of the world has direct implications around the planet.  One thing that the COVID pandemic showed us is that our global health is intricately connected to the movement of people, disease, and prevention.  We also know that our environment, or weather, our water, our air, know no borders.   We have a responsibility to use our actions to protect all of the globe for our own sake and for the future of our children around the world.

However, while we may know, in principle, that we live in a globally connected world, our opportunities to get to know and build relationships with people are often much more limited.  Too often our understanding of who our peers are on the other side of the world come from television or movies, or exaggerated news headlines, rather than through friendship, sharing and trust.

However, I am proud to say that RVIBS is a leader in trying to bridge that gap.  Your college singed a partnership agreement with Madison College in 2022 and we are continuing to grow opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to connect in meaningful ways. That includes online learning where students in Nakuru and students in Madison will work together to solve classroom challenges, in-person learning such as when Madison College students will come to Nakuru this May 2024.  Finally we are building pathways for students from Nakuru to be able to come to the United States on a student visa, to continue their studies at both technical diploma and bachelors degree level.  Students who follow this pathway can find affordable option to study in the United States.  This student visa option allows students to study and gain work experience on a student visa, and can open opportunities for more permanent work visa in the USA.  So I would like to especially recognize Director John Gitau, Principal Percy Kihumba, and everyone at RVIBS who recognize the importance of global education and are working to find ways to help all of you set out on a path of intercultural understanding and global citizenship.

So once again congratulations on your special day.  Thank you for letting me be a part of it.  And let us move forward from this day in celebration of the lives that have been transformed though this educational experience and for the lives that all of you will go on to touch through your life and work after today.

Nashukuru  – Thank you!