It was an evening of celebration as Lassen Community College graduates were recognized for their resiliency and hard work Friday.
“You are able to do whatever you want if you put your mind and heart to it,” student speaker Tara Vincent, a December 2020 graduate, said to her peers during the Friday, May 28 Commencement Ceremony.
While the ceremony celebrated the achievements of LCC graduates from August 2019 through the most recent group of students in May, about 70 students participated in the in-person graduation, donning their caps and gowns.
“To the classes of 2020 and 2021, and even couple people from 2019, congratulations, you made it,” newly appointed Superintendent/ President Dr. Trevor Albertson said.
“I wish I could introduce each and every (student) to you individually and afford you their story, because everyone has got one,” Albertson told the crowd. “They have all, each and every one of them, overcome tremendous adversity and challenges to get here today.”
Albertson went on to say this group of graduates is comprised of the most successful and diverse student body at LCC.
Of the students attending, at least 41 were transferring to additional trade training or a four-year college. He commended those going on to four-year universities, but also those entering the workforce as firefighters, peace officers, nurses, child care professionals, welders and business men and women.
“My hat is literally off to you all,” Albertson shared.
During the ceremony, student speakers Vincent and December 2020 grad Krystal Dalton shared their stories of determination, success and hard work to get where they are today.
Dalton, a single mother who pursued a better life for her and her child, shared the three “C” words that helped her in her collegiate journey: connection, community and compassion.
“Our stories have closed an unforgettable chapter, we will move forward and have the courage and the strength to pursue more. Remember, through every storm you encounter, the only person who can stop you is going to be you,” Dalton said to her peers. “Together we faced this pandemic, we kicked it in the butt, and tonight we’re finally able to say we did it. Stay connected, keep community in your heart, and find compassion in all that you do.”
Vincent shared her own story, and urged graduates to never let anyone tell them they aren’t enough. Now graduating with five degrees, Vincent didn’t listen to those who doubted when she needed a new start.
“It doesn’t matter who you used to be in high school … I bettered myself for myself,” she said, thanking her support system. “Don’t take no for an answer. You’re so much more worth it.”
Prior to the presentation of degrees, Albertson presented May 2021 graduate Brand Satica with the John D. McCollum Scholarship as he heads off to Boise State University, and Interim Dean of Social Services Carie Camacho recognized faculty and emeritus faculty, highlighting the challenges overcome and dedication witnessed during the trying year.
While it was a year of challenges, Albertson noted it wouldn’t be the last trial the new graduates face. With the right tools, however, overcoming difficulties is possible. He urged graduates to follow their gut and know that sometimes they’ll get scared, but to forge ahead anyway, learning lessons along the way.
“Never forget what you’ve achieved this day. Always remember why you did this in the first place and you’ll never forget where you’re going,” concluded Albertson.