Brandon Taylor of Ridgeland believes Hinds Community College was the best first stop for him in his higher education career.
Taylor, who attended the Raymond Campus, was the student speaker for one of two graduation ceremonies held on July 28. He plans to transfer to either Jackson State University or the University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“Hinds has helped me grow as a person and as a student. Transitioning from high school to college, I was not as prepared as I thought I would be. I ended up having bad grades, but all of that changed my 2nd semester. I learned to start setting goals for myself, learned how to maintain a job while being in school full time and improve to a 4.0 GPA,” Taylor said.
“These past couple years at Hinds were not always easy. Trying to figure out how to maintain our work while going through a pandemic or trying to stay awake on zoom calls from home was challenging. But what we learned as graduates is resilience and how to overcome challenges,” he said.
Hinds Community College awarded 653 degrees and certificates to 555 students. Of those graduating, 120 graduated cum laude with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59; 62 graduated magna cum laude with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.99 and 84 graduated summa cum laude with a grade point average of 4.0.
Shalisa Cain of Jackson gave the invocation and benediction at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. Last year she received an Associate Degree in culinary arts and returned for a year to the Jackson Campus to add the hotel and Hospitality Management degree. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She recently bought a food truck.
Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik challenged the new graduates to “pursue a path of service to others. Make a difference in the world. We need more change agents and fewer channel changers.
“Give each task in life your best effort and then give just a little more. Work hard, accomplish much and view each obstacle along the way as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block,” he said.