MCTC Interim President-Elect Dr. Avelino Mills-Novoa and MCTC student Michael Elliott attended an invitation-only town hall meeting with President Barack Obama held at Minnehaha Falls today.
“I’m grateful I was given the chance to hear President Obama talk about the economy and middle-class Americans,” said Elliott. “I’ve been middle class my whole life. I was raised by a single mom, so when I see wage inequality, I know that’s directly hurting kids who grew up like me.” Elliott, who was born in California and grew up in North Minneapolis, is pursuing his A.A. in Liberal Arts at MCTC. “I’m interested in Information Technology, because there is still a digital divide in my community,” he said.
Elliott is a non-traditional student in his 40s who returned to college after raising a family. “Life took me away from college in my early 20s,” said Elliott. “I held jobs between now and then, but never a career. Now my son is 22 and finishing college himself, and I decided to go back to school to create professional credibility.”
Mills-Novoa and Elliott were among only 300 people to receive an invitation to Obama’s town hall meeting. “I’m here because my story isn’t any different from the students at MCTC,” said Mills-Novoa. “I’m an immigrant and a person of color, and education changed my life.”
Obama’s stop at Minnehaha Falls took place almost exactly 50 years after former President Lyndon B. Johnson visited the Falls on June 27, 1964.
Images: MCTC president-elect Avelino Mills-Novoa and student Michael Elliott. The two snapped a selfie at the event (lower).