This morning, actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks sent the following message to the White House email list, recalling his time at Chabot College — a community college in Hayward, California. In his email, Tom explains how Chabot College made him who he is today, and why community college should be an option for more hardworking Americans. If you agree with him, tell us why you think community college should be available to more Americans — using this form or the hashtag #CommunityCollege. (And if you didn't get his email, sign up for email updates here .) Chabot College is a rambling series of academic buildings situated on 94 acres in Hayward, California. It offers more than 100 associate degrees and certificates, an intercollegiate national championship-winning ultimate disc team, and parking for a couple thousand cars. It's also my alma mater. Chabot's a community college — and in the early 1970s, it was all free, save for the effort you put into it and the price of used textbooks. As a student there, I went to school alongside Vietnam vets, moms, and middle-aged men, as well as a few thousand young people like me who needed time to sort out our lives and our options. We were looking to get our general education requirements out of the way, to learn skill sets to improve our employment prospects, or to discover the road to new, unimagined careers. We all found a different home at Chabot, but it welcomed all of us. Later today, the President is heading to Watertown, South Dakota to deliver the commencement address at another community college — called Lake Area Tech. (NOTE: If I had grown up in that part of South Dakota, my alma mater would be none other than Lake Area Tech.) He'll talk to students who, like those of us at Chabot all those years ago, are going to go out into the world and do great things. And they'll owe it in part to an educational institution that ought to be an option for more Americans. You should tune in and hear what he has to say — and then add your voice to a growing conversation about how we can make college a reality for more of us. read more

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Email from Tom Hanks: "What Chabot College Did for Me"