CCCC celebrates summer graduation
Jeffery Grant Rosser (right), of Lee County, receives congratulations from Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Kenneth Laughinghouse (right), of Lee County, receives congratulations from Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Samantha Taylor (right), of Lee County, receives congratulations from Central Carolina Community College ... (more)
Juanita McKinnon (second from left), of Harnett County, shares the joy of her graduation with her ... (more)
Tonya Tenters, of Harnett County, addresses her graduating class during Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Jessica Johnson (right), of Chatham County, receives congratulations from Central Carolina Community ... (more)
SANFORD - Tonya Tenters was a very nervous 31-year-old mother of two when she decided to enroll in Central Carolina Community College's veterinary medical technician program about two years ago. It was grueling, but she hung in there and completed it.
On Thursday, the Harnett resident had a big smile as she received her Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Medical Technology, with honors, at the college's Summer Commencement. She was also one of the student graduation speakers.
Tenters told the gathering at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center that commencement was a day for all the graduates to celebrate the support they received as they worked toward their goals. She credited her success to her family, instructors, and a quote from Sir Winston Churchill, "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
"I did," she told her fellow graduates and the large audience. "I'm here now and it's an amazing feeling."
All of the graduates could have expressed that same feeling. Student speaker Jeffery Grant Rosser, of Lee County, told the gathering that when he graduated from Lee County High School in 2009, he still hadn't answered the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
He credited his CCCC instructors, particularly mechanical engineering instructor Bill Jones, with helping him find the answer. Thursday, Rosser received his Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology, with honors. He plans now to enroll in the college's Firefighter Academy.
"Remember this moment, remember this feeling when you walk across the stage," he told his fellow graduates. "Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to."
Tenters and Rosser were two of approximately 200 curriculum students who completed their studies for more than 19 Associate in Arts, four Associate in Science, and 79 Associate in Applied Science degrees; 105 certificates; and 68 diplomas during the summer semester. Some earned multiple credentials.
Families and friends gathered at the Civic Center to share this milestone with their graduates. As the Summer Class of 2011 proudly entered the Center's large hall two by two in their dark graduation robes, the audience rose quietly in honor of their accomplishments.
As each graduate's name was called out and each crossed the stage to be congratulated by CCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Lisa Chapman and Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Dr. Tracy Hanner, cameras flashed and cheers and applause burst out around the hall.
Sara Smither, of Chatham County, received her Associate in Arts degree and will be attending UNC-Greensboro for its International Global Studies program. After the exercise, she said she was grateful for the preparation she had received at CCCC.
"The education I got here has been absolutely amazing," she said. "Everyone helps you. They care about student success not just in the classroom, but in life."
Bejuana McKinnon, 17, of Harnett County, was at the graduation to see his mother, Juanita McKinnon, receive her Certificate in Early Childhood Education. His mother has had a daycare center in her home for six years and was determined to get her certificate.
"It was a lot of hard work for her," the Overhills High School junior said, then added with a smile. "She's been a big inspiration to me. I'm planning on going to the University of California-Los Angeles and major in engineering or business administration."
Following the presentation of the credentials, the gathering did more cheering, applauding, and picture taking as the new graduates filed out of the hall. The celebration continued in the Civic Center foyer as graduates received hugs, flowers, and balloons from those who had encouraged them in their efforts.
Then they left the Civic Center, stepping out into a brighter future for which they had worked so hard to prepare.
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