Above: The speaker for the Hinds Community College July 28 nursing and allied health graduation ceremony was Kevin Nelson of Florence who received an Associate Degree in Nursing. He is a pediatric licensed practical nurse at Children’s of Mississippi who attended night classes. After graduation he plans to work on a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Hinds Community College nursing classmates Sergio Sanchez San Juan of Pearl and Patricia Doty of Byram each brought a spouse and four children to their graduation ceremony on July 28. Both celebrated receiving their Associate Degree in Nursing.
Sanchez San Juan, 31, is planning to continue his education and eventually become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. “I have a plan to keep going and get the CRNA. That’s the ultimate goal,” he said.
Celebrating with him was his wife Ordalia and their four children, ages 8, 4, 3 and 1. “I couldn’t do it without her,” he said. He works for the Flowood Fire Department as an emergency medical technician. His coworkers “have been very supportive.”
Doty, 40, was also a paramedic for 15 years. “I’m a returning student,” she said. “I decided to come back to school because I knew I could do more with my life.”
Now she has a job lined up in the ICU at St. Dominic’s. Her husband Sam was likewise supportive helping with their children ages 13, 10, 6 and 2. “I don’t know how I did it with four babies, but I did,” she said.
Dymonte Bouldin of Madison led the invocation and benediction for the nursing and allied health ceremony. He received a credential in Practical Nursing. While attending classes at the Nursing/Allied Health Center, he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and class president. He is employed at Behavioral Health at Merit Health Center.
“Every graduate here today has people who have supported their journey or encouraged them in some way, whether it be family, friends, or a favorite instructor who has been meaningful to you,” Nelson said. “I am here as a representative of this class to say, ‘Thank you, you may never know how important you were.’ ”
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.
Hinds Community College awarded 653 degrees and certificates to 555 students in two graduation ceremonies on Thursday, July 28.
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.