For the South Florida State College (SFSC) graduates who gathered in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Dec. 12, the 2019 Commencement ceremony was a time to celebrate.
Student Commencement speaker Dolores Breedlove, who earned her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Supervision and Management (BAS-SM), congratulated her fellow classmates on persevering through their studies to graduation. In her speech, she told her life story and how she overcame the poor choices she made early in life. With the guidance of angels along the way, she got an education, gained self-confidence, and found a job that she loves.
Breedlove said to the graduates: “No matter what obstacles get in the way on your road through life, you must trust in yourself. Many times in my life, I felt like giving up, but the faces of my children, my husband, and my support system helped me to keep moving forward. Find something you love and run after it. The only thing that can stop you is YOU.”
“Choose to follow your dreams and overcome all the barriers of life that include the culture of your family, the choices you make, and the past decisions that will follow you forever. Follow the road to success and that will help guide you to set goals and educate yourself. Never give up on today because tomorrow is guaranteed to be better than yesterday.”
Breedlove was given a standing ovation.
Early in the program, the graduates received congratulations and words of wisdom from Dr. Thomas Leitzel, SFSC president. He referred to the College’s Get Connected enrollment campaign. “Stay connected and promote the connections you made here with others so, together, we build a better community and a better world. Now go forth and connect with those million dreams as they become a reality due to your ingenuity and determination.”
Over 325 students met SFSC December graduation requirements by Commencement. Of these, 21 received their Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management, 1 received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, 1 received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 104 received their Associate in Arts degree, 12 received their Associate in Science degree, 63 received their State of Florida High School Diploma, and 134 received Career Certificates, College Credit Certificates, or Advanced Technical Diplomas. Students participating in the Commencement ceremony totaled 208.
Speaking on behalf of the SFSC District Board of Trustees, vice chair Joe Wright, addressed the new graduates: “Life can be rough and tumble from time to time. Each of us has a need to feel accepted, to feel wanted, to feel that people care about us. Please remember that we always wanted you here at SFSC. We, collectively, have been pulling for you and are celebrating with you. We have been looking forward to your graduation from the time you first set foot on one of our campuses. Lastly, keep in touch with us after graduation. We want to claim you, and we want you to claim us as part of your extended family at SFSC.”
Mace bearer and chief marshal for this year’s ceremony was Thomas Bush, Faculty Council president. Faculty and staff selected to serve as marshals were Elizabeth Andrews, Junior Gray, Courtney Green, Robert Hampton, Dr. Theresa James, Cynthia Kinser, Garrett Lee, Michelle Macbeth, Claire Miller, Tasha Morales, Asena Mott, and Ricardo Pantoja.
Image: Dolores Breedlove speaking to the graduates.