By Capri Martinez | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Mignonne Pollard is this year’s commencement speaker. Originally from St. Augustine, Pollard is also a Flagler College alumna.
Pollard received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish/Latin American studies from Flagler.
“What made my stay at Flagler most enjoyable was the people I met and friends I made who are still my friends today,” Pollard said.
In addition to her undergraduate degree, Pollard has a Masters Degree in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
She also has a Doctorate of Education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy with a concentration in International Education.
Pollard said she always wanted to travel and see the world and she got her first opportunity with Flagler.
“After my first trip to Spain through Flagler as a requirement of my major, I knew I wanted to keep traveling,” Pollard said.
She did just that by combining her love for travel with her passion for education.
Pollard has been to Switzerland, Austria, Africa, Italy, Hungary, France, and England, just to name a few. She even did an internship in Zimbabwe, South Africa for a year.
“I worked with women’s cooperatives helping them find funds to buy supplies and equipment so they could produce flour,” Pollard said.
Pollard said it is important to understand other cultures and ethnicities because we live in such a diverse world.
“I believe awareness, understanding, and knowledge about other cultures is a lifelong pursuit,” Pollard said.
Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of the statewide 4-H Youth Development Program in California, a position she has held since 2002.
Her main task is to help form and implement different policies to educate youth, volunteers, and staff members of 4-H about critical issues. Pollard said the most important guidelines she has executed are about child abuse prevention.
“I developed an online course to teach volunteers and staff how to recognize child abuse and how to report child abuse,” Pollard said.
She also works with issues of diversity and reaching youth who may not understand the 4-H program.
Pollard said she is a teacher at heart, simply trying to make a difference in the world.
“I’d be happy to know that I’ve made a difference in just one person’s life by showing up, being present,
and keeping promises,” Pollard said.