Profile Response: Marion Paden, Oklahoma City OK

HWWLT Logo on yellow“At the end of your life how do you want to be remembered? I would like people think I’m funny, but I can’t control that. I also want them to think my life made a difference.” For over thirty years at Oklahoma City Community College, in a number of capacities including Dean for Students and Vice-President, Marion Paden felt certain she made a difference. “OCC is the fifth largest college in Oklahoma. It provides college experience and education for students who cannot access our residential universities.”

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Two years ago Marion decided to branch in a new direction. She became Director of Leadership Oklahoma, an education and community service organization that provides training sessions to emerging leaders about the critical issues facing the state, including agriculture, government, penal system, oil and gas, education, Native Americans, and transportation. Each year fifty individuals participate in immersive experiences such as visiting death row inmates and observing petroleum fields to witness first hand the factors that shape life in Oklahoma. Upon graduation, they join the growing ranks of fellow participants who, hopefully, have a broad perspective of the issues that face this state.

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Marion is excited about the educational sessions she’s developed, but wants to increase graduates’ activities and reach. “My slogan is ‘other ways work.’ We have to figure out what they are and try them out.” From Marion’s perspective, the value of Leadership Oklahoma is more than what the program participants receive; it’s what they give back in return.

How will we live tomorrow?

img_8287“I hoped you had the answer for me. I am frightened. It is the work I am doing and it keeps me up at night. The trajectory we are on is not a good one. I am a glass half-full kind of girl but now I am looking at empty.”

 

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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