Resilient. Motivated. Achiever.
Those are the three characteristics which make up Gateway Technical College’s Class of 2022, says Guida Brown.
Brown, the keynote speaker at the college’s commencement ceremony held Wednesday night, told students that all work has value and encouraged them to live by the words of her mother, Lena Brown, who said that “there is no job beneath you.”
Brown is a substance abuse counselor and former executive director of Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, Inc. She made her comments during the second of two ceremonies held this week to honor and celebrate Gateway’s graduates.
“Know that you are resilient,” Brown told graduates. “You made it to this stage – both figuratively and literally – in a world unlike anything we’ve seen before, and here you are, graduating.”
Brown told graduates they were also motivated. “You may have known from Day One where you wanted to end up and worked directly toward that end, or you may have taken a more circuitous route. No matter how you traveled through your education, you got here, to the finish line.”
Finally, Brown told students they were achievers. “You know what you overcame to get here. You know what you put into your education. You know how hard you worked, and here you are, graduating.”
Wednesday night’s ceremony honored graduates from the School of Health as well as the School of Protective and Human Services. Tuesday night’s ceremony honored graduates from the School of Business and Transportation as well as the School of Manufacturing, Engineering and Information Technology.
The two ceremonies recognized 1,252 prospective candidates for graduation from the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters. About 310 students participated in the two ceremonies.
Student Responder Maggie Mosley told graduates she was proud of them because they had navigated their education and earned a degree during a time of a worldwide pandemic. She encouraged them to use their newfound knowledge and skills to volunteer, give back to the community and become a positive example to family and friends.
“Now that we’ve reached graduation, we have a new responsibility,” said Mosley. “Let’s give back to Gateway, by honoring their vision to ‘make life-changing educational opportunities a reality.’ Let’s make sure that the next generation of students have the same opportunity that we’ve received. Let’s continue to be role models for success to our families.”
Mosley, a Human Service Associate graduate, pointed to her work with the Shalom Center as an experience that will have a lifelong impact on her and her outlook.
“I hope each of you finds a way to share your talents with those in need in our community. When opportunity presents itself, be open,” said Mosley.
“This educational experience has forever changed all of us for the better because we now have the knowledge that allows us to not only utilize these newly acquired skills, but to also pursue the career we want, to make a name for ourselves, and to encourage other adult learners, as well as the younger generations, to pursue their educational dreams.”
To see photos and a video of the commencement ceremony, go to: https://www.gtc.edu/commencement-ceremonies