Northwest Community College held its convocation ceremony for the graduating class of 2011 on May 18, with 24 students receiving either diplomas, certificates or associate degrees from the Prince Rupert campus.
The most moving part of the ceremony was the speech by student Vernon Barker, a speech that drove home the importance of education.
“My journey up to two and a half years ago was a very harrowing and sometimes horrific one…It was a journey filled with bad choices and bad decisions,” said the mature student, alluding to battling addiction.
“Then two and a half years ago I chose to enrol in Northwest Community College and it has led me to the greatest accomplishment of my life and that is my grade 12 diploma. Now I am half way to my next great accomplishment, which is an associate degree in criminology…I don’t think I am any better or any worse than anyone else. If I can do this, then anyone can do it.”
Dignitaries at the event told the students (whose names and accomplishments are listed at the end of the story) how proud they were of them, they also stressed that this should not be seen as the end of the educational journey.
“Don’t consider this the end of your learning, but another step in lifelong learning. Your community needs you,” said acting Prince Rupert mayor Kathy Bedard.
“Fulfill your goals and your educational goals, and continue on. Nowadays you have to be qualified for any job you want,” said Port Edward councillor James Brown.
As well as municipal representatives, NWCC president Dr. Denise Henning asked the students to do as much as they can with their education.
“If you see a need, I challenge you not to ask ‘why doesn’t someone do something about it’ but rather ask ‘why don’t I do something about it?’. Think about your friends and family members who you can help and share your gifts with and give willingly,” she said.
The NWCC class of 2011 includes the following students:
Applied Business Technology Accounting Certificate – Miranda Young
Applied Coastal Ecology Diploma -Bond Jones and Cei Sullivan
Associate Degree (Arts) – Jessica Coe
Associate Degree (Science) Cei Sullivan and Lorelle Sunduk
Business Administration Diploma – Jasdeep Hehar, Cheryl Tauber, Alexandra van Vianen, Brittney Verissimo and Rosa Watson
Business Administration Certificate – Shaelynn Folz, Florence Knott, Michelle Montemuro, Colissa St. Louis, Kaitln Salm and Elizabeth Temple
Career and College Preparation Dogwood – Vernon Barker, Jessica Hakki and Pamela Rouse
Computer Technology Certificate – Steven Kelly
Special Education Assistant Certificate – Jessica Coe and Shelly Samuels
Workplace Skills Training – Harpreet Hehar, David Jackson and Raili Keene