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College to Career

College to Career: Alumni inspire success

  • Updated
Doug Ernst

Napa Valley Register columnist Doug Ernst.

Alumni are being encouraged to share their success stories to help Napa Valley College celebrate 75 years of preparing students for careers and four-year colleges.

Their stories could inspire today’s students.

The roads they traveled at NVC may have been challenging, but they likely featured a few thrills, lasting impressions and valuable experiences.

That’s because college is an education in and of itself. Along with learning a trade or mastering an occupational skill, students also discover how to solve complex problems responsibly; whom to trust; where to find facts, not just answers; and how to prepare for the next challenge.

Colleges could be called “places where people learn how to deal with life.”

I know alumni who learned so much at NVC that they want to help inspire others to attend the college, graduate and successfully transition from commencement to real life.

Maybe they excelled at a great university. Or became a company leader. Or started a nonprofit agency that empowers people. Or became wonderful partners or parents. Or discovered a new medicine. Or started a business that employs people.

Maybe they climbed to heights they never dreamed they would reach. Maybe they built something that will stand for generations.

Maybe they served their nation, worked to protect neighborhoods and communities or saved lives as emergency medical technicians or doctors.

Perhaps they became entertainers, sports legends or politicians. Maybe they moved away to take advantage of new opportunities. Maybe they stayed here to contribute to the Napa Valley.

If you know alumni who have success stories, please tell them that sharing their stories could inspire others in the community.

Or, tell us your own story.

Where will these stories be seen and heard? Hopefully, in newspapers, magazines, on talk shows; social media, television, maybe on the big screen someday.

Good stories will have staying power throughout the college’s 75th anniversary year and long after. Maybe they will be re-told at the 100th birthday party in 2042.

The best way to contribute to the Napa Valley College celebration in 2042 is to live your dreams.

So you want to be an astronaut? Start with the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.

You want to be a winemaker? Join the Viticulture and Winery Technology program.

Want to build bridges? Take classes in Machine Tool Technology or Welding.

Maybe you want to be a nurse, chef, officer, teacher, counselor, engineer, designer, chemist, writer or architect. Maybe you simply want to look around and figure out what you want to do.

Napa Valley College counselors, teachers, staff, administrators and donors have been helping students realize their dreams for 75 years. Now the alumni can help the college by sharing their stories.

Please call me at 256-7112 or email to find out how you can help.

Doug Ernst is the Napa Valley College public information officer. Reach him at or (707) 256-7112.

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