Flourish at ADP: Jim’s Story

Jim Band ADP Alum 2014I don’t care how good you are at anything, if you’re not good with people, you won’t be successful. Earning my degree in Human Development through the Warner Pacific Adult Degree Program (ADP) gave me a better understanding of what makes people tick and an understanding that we all come from different places with different fears, needs, and motivations. As the Chief of Police in Oregon City, these skills are vital to my work each and every day.

I found out about ADP through a co-worker who had attended Warner Pacific and had a great experience. Practically speaking, graduating from college opened the door for me to apply for a promotion to a position that required a degree. This has equated to more responsibility and an increased income. In terms of how it applies to my job, I have been better prepared to deal with all of the challenges that go with being a police chief. My degree was in human development and I think it has made a significant difference in how I read, communicate with, and handle people.

As the head of Oregon City’s police department, my main job is to steer the agency according to the vision and ideals of our community. There are a lot of things that make this job rewarding. I like fixing things that people believe will never be fixed, and I also like finding new solutions; the creative process of problem-solving. The most challenging part of my work is trying to maintain a healthy balance. It’s hard to focus on doing fewer things well, rather than trying to change everything that you think needs to be fixed. Sometimes it feels like there are so many ideas and so little time.

Even though my job involves working with a wide variety of people, oddly enough it was the ADP group projects that I really disliked during my time as a student. However, it was those interactions that ended up teaching me the most. I remember working with people of every type from all walks of life. At the time, it was difficult to complete some of these projects while negotiating all of our differences. But, that is what problem-solving really is; getting a group of people to function and complete work in spite of their differences. Learning in this way forced me out of my comfort zone and taught me to look past each of our differences and encouraged me to utilize our individual strengths. I learned how to stop focusing why we thought so differently and instead, recognize it as an advantage.

ADP-anniv-image-logoJim Band
Chief of Police, Oregon City
B.S. in Human Development ‘04

Flourish at ADP: Sherrena’s Story

ADP-Alum-story-2014-Sherrena-Torrence-a-2012-gradEarning my degree through the Warner Pacific Adult Degree Program (ADP) really boosted my self-confidence. I had always wanted to return to school and earn my degree and after 20+ years, I accomplished that goal.

I had previously attended North Portland Bible College, and when I was thinking about going back to school I was encouraged by Earnestine Cellestine, their Vice President of Academic Affairs, to check out the Adult Degree Program at Warner Pacific. My life was already full with parenting, working full-time, and serving at my church, so I was attracted to the once a week schedule that ADP provided.

A lot of what I learned during my time at ADP helped prepare me for the career I’m in today. Working in learning teams allowed me to experience various cultures, personalities, and viewpoints, that were different from my own. I learned how to think outside of my own belief system.

One thing that stands out in my memory was a simple, yet profound moment in one of my classes with Mr. Bill (Professor Bill Dobrenen). During our cultural studies course, he held an ink pen up to the globe to demonstrate where we are and how much more there is to experience and explore in this vast world. As a visual learner, this sparked so much interest and curiosity in me! I was eager to learn about how others lived and experienced the world; I wanted to know how I, as an American, could glean information from the cultures around me.

Working at ROSE CDC, I provide support and resources for the families and individuals who live in our affordable housing. This includes conducting afterschool programs, walking groups for seniors, garden projects, and much more. I also recently started my own business as a trainer in the early childhood education field, which is allowing me to share my passion for supporting families and those who work with children to create positive environments and experiences that will help them thrive.

What I learned in that course with Mr. Bill has helped me tremendously as I’m working to support families at ROSE CDC. The families who live in our housing are very diverse, from Somalia, Haiti, Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, and China. They have varied religious backgrounds, cultural experiences, traditions, customs, and most speak English as a second language. I learn from them each day and I am more open-minded due to the education I received through ADP.

ADP-anniv-image-logoSherrena Torrence
Resident Assets Coordinator for ROSE Community Development Corp., and owner of Next Level Ministries, LLC
B.S. in Human Development ‘12