By Christian Sorto
Editor’s Note: This is the speech Christian Sorto, a Montgomery College Germantown student, gave on April 5th as testimony before the Montgomery County Council.
The hearing was about the County’s annual budget, which includes funding for Montgomery College for the 2016-2017 academic year. Sorto’s testimony shows the impact Montgomery College has had on Sorto’s life and how MC is an excellent institution. Sorto urged the Council to keep funding MC for the upcoming fiscal year.
Testimony before the Montgomery County Council
By Christian Sorto, Montgomery College Student
County Council Building, Rockville, Maryland, Third Floor Hearing Room
April 5, 2016 at 7:00pm
Good evening, council members. My name is Christian Sorto and I am an Honors student at Montgomery College. This evening, I am humbled by the opportunity to speak on behalf of an institution that has impacted my life tremendously.
Two years ago, I graduated from Seneca Valley High School and began my journey at Montgomery College. For financial reasons, Montgomery College was the best option for me because I received several scholarships that made my dream of attending college possible. If I had not, I would have had to go straight to the workforce in order to pay for school, but since Montgomery College is affordable, that was not the case and that is why I will be able to graduate this May, in the span of two years. Since enrolling at Montgomery College, I have taken advantage of the many resources and opportunities available to students: interning at the Library of Congress; serving as the elected president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; accepting an appointment as a student ambassador; and even being selected as one of three students to represent my campus in the student council.
Montgomery College has helped me mature academically and allowed me to see what true excellence is. I am a member of the selective honors program called, the Renaissance Scholars which emphasizes interdisciplinary learning through linked pairs of honors classes. I enrolled in Comparative Government and Introduction to Literature. Here I saw how great writers examined, portrayed and reckoned with issues of pressing and contemporary concern all over the globe, from Fugard’s South Africa to Mo Yan’s Democratic Republic of China. This academic grounding enlightened my great desire to pursue a double major in English and Political Science at my transfer institution, and I can say it is thanks to the professors who taught me the subjects.
For the past twelve years, nine Montgomery College professors have been named Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The College has received this award for the past seven years in a row, beating out Maryland’s prestigious universities. This shows the quality of a Montgomery College education. Montgomery College is one of the most affordable colleges in the state, and our faculty are out performing other more expensive schools, and fortunately it is in our beloved community, Montgomery County. As you all know, Montgomery County is one of the best counties in the nation. How did we get to be the best? By being one the most educated counties in the country. That is why I want to thank you all for your past support and plead with you, today, to continue to support us now going into the new fiscal year. We need your support so we may continue to pursue excellence in academia and to further educate our future leaders of Montgomery County and Maryland. Thank you for your time.