Inspirational Speakers,Workshops And Prizes Planned For Graduate Send-Off Event

Photo of entrepreneur Odell Bizzell.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ODELL BIZZELL Something To Say: Entrepreneur Odell Bizzell will serve as the keynote speaker at the What’s Next? Class of 2016 Grad Send-Off event on May 7 at the Wolfson Campus auditorium.

The Miami Dade College Alumni Relations Office will be hosting the What’s Next? Class of 2016 Grad Send-Off event on May 7 at the Wolfson Campus auditorium, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave,  in Room 1261.

All students graduating this semester are invited to attend the day-long event, which will offer networking opportunities, an alumni panel, career and financial advisement, among other fun and nourishing activities.

The event was started this year by Maria Descz, the assistant director of alumni relations at MDC, to expose students to the resources available for the early stages of their careers and beyond.   

“It all started when we realized that there was a need to transition the students and guide them into a new journey,” Descz said. “We’re preparing our graduating students now, either if they are transferring to a new university or entering the workforce, and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”

Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a continental breakfast. The keynote speaker will be entrepreneur, Odell Bizzell. He  has written four books and has spoken in the same stages as Dave Letterman and Oprah Winfrey. He will give away and sign about 25 copies of his book titled The Success Choice: A No Nonsense Guide to Success in Life & School

An alumni panel featuring successful MDC graduates coming from different industries, some of whom have started their own businesses or transferred to out-of-state institutions, will target the diverse interests of the graduating class.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment, to think that the degree, the credential, is the first of many steps,” said Mark Cole, the vice president of advancement and executive director of Foundation at MDC. “[Students] will be joining a network of almost two million people that have walked through our doors and are all connected to MDC, so when you think about managing yourself and your career, there’s access to people who have done it before and can provide great information and connections.”

Lunch will be provided after the alumni panel and there will also be a DJ and hourly contests consisting of raffles. Prizes will include items from the bookstore such as diploma frames.

A series of workshops on personal and professional development will follow. Maria Chicuen, who serves as the special projects assistant to the College President, will offer one of these workshops.

“The workshop will showcase some of the resources and spaces in Miami where young professionals can find support as they embark on their careers and seek potential partners for their adventures as well as mentors or guidance from the community,” Chicuen said.

Bizzell will also give a workshop on making the wisest decisions.

“My message to graduating students is that when life puts you through struggles, it should not destroy youit should  define you,” Bizzell said. “This is your defining moment. This is your time to let the world know that you’re here to make a lasting impact on others.”

The cost of the event is $10. Students can pay and register online at:

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Adriana Falero

Adriana Falero, 17, is a mass communications/journalism major attending the School for Advanced Studies at North Campus. Falero will serve as the forum editor for The Reporter during the 2016-2017 school year. She aspires to become a multimedia journalist and cover international news. Her interests include learning about different cultures and protecting the environment.