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Graduation ceremonies set for Sat Dec. 14

Several grads defy odds, overcome challenges to get there


South Texas College will hold its commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Payne Arena. Nearly 3,000 students will receive their degrees as they set out on the next stage of their educational journey.

This December at his graduation, Aaron Powell said he will walk the stage on behalf of family members he lost along the way.

Persevering despite a tragic accident in 2018 that claimed the lives of his wife, mother in law, and three-year-old son, Powell hopes his story can serve as a reminder about just how important an education is, even when the worst happens. Read Powell’s story here https://bit.ly/34H11Dl

“Even with kids, you can still continue your education, and I continue for them because if I can do it, they can do it,” said Powell, who will receive his Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership. “You don't give up on your goals. You just build on it every day, and you do something productive to put you towards that goal. Eventually you'll get there.”

Gina Perez, another graduate who is receiving her basic firefighter certificate, says she is fighting to enter an industry dominated by men. Read Perez’s story here https://bit.ly/2Pr6Tu8

As the only female in her class at STC’s Fire Science Program, Perez says it won’t be long until the community sees even more women firefighters making a difference in the field.

“I do feel like people see it as a man’s job (and) at first it was nerve-racking, but now it’s like ‘I can do this’,” Perez said. “There's no fear; nothing but adrenaline, excitement, and knowing that you have these people behind you that got your back and you got theirs. It's just amazing.”

Powell and Perez are just two among thousands of students who have succeeded despite their challenges to receive their degrees this December. STC will proudly confer 2,969 degrees during its fall commencement ceremonies Saturday Dec. 14.

Graduation will take place at Payne Arena in Hidalgo. The ceremony for Business, Public Safety and Technology and bachelor programs will take place at 9 a.m.

The afternoon commencement for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will take place at 1 p.m. Degrees for Math and Science and Nursing and Allied Health as well as for students receiving associate degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies will be conferred during the 5 p.m. ceremony.

Newly graduated students will become part a tradition that has seen tens of thousands of graduates over the college’s 25 year history who have gone on to rewarding careers.

South Texas College is among the top institutions in the nation for improving Latino student success in higher education, according to Washington-D.C.-based Excelencia in Education.

Supporting a student population where more than 70 percent are the first in their families to go to college, STC offers more than 120 degree and certificate options, and is one of only four community colleges in Texas to offer bachelor degrees including a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which begins in the spring.

STC also boasts a 94 percent collective passing rate on all licensure exams required for professional practice, higher than the state average (89 percent) over the last three years.

Families who plan on attending commencement ceremonies are encouraged to arrive at Payne Arena as early as possible in order to secure seating. Tickets have been issued to graduates and will be collected before entering.

For the complete graduation schedule and more information, including access to a live stream of the commencement ceremonies, please visit http://www.southtexascollege.edu/graduation/students.html