Above: Graduate Sydney Burks poses with her mother former Dean at Nursing Allied Health campus Priscilla Burks
Sydney Burks received a lot of accolades during her time at Hinds Community College. From being named an HBCU scholar to becoming the Regional Vice President of the Mississippi/Louisiana Phi Theta Kappa organization Burks has made the most of her time as a student. She achieved her most significant one Saturday, May 14th, receiving her diploma. She congratulated her classmates on not only making it to graduation but making it during a pandemic.
“To my classmates, Class of 2022, congratulations, and job well done. We attended college during a pandemic. Many of us may have also had other struggles outside of the pandemic or struggles that the pandemic made even worse. Yet, we did not let those obstacles hold us back, so, again, well done,” said Burks.
Burks was one of 84 students that walked across the stage on the Utica campus in J.D. Boyd Gymnasium. The college held four other ceremonies May 11 and 12 at the Muse center on the Rankin Campus. President Stephen Vacik encouraged the students to continue down their path of excellence but reminded them that Hinds will always be home no matter where they may be.
“When you leave here today, we want you to always remember that you are part of us – we want you to come back and not only visit from time to time, but continue to be part of the Hinds tradition – sharing your experiences with others whom you may influence down the line. I encourage you to celebrate your accomplishments, be kind to others and find true joy in your life,” said Vacik
Jada Henderson served as Miss Utica for the 2021–2022 school year. During her speech she reflected on her time on campus and how she has evolved since entering as a freshman.
“A freshman, I was scared to take risks and doubted I would make friends. What I have learned and encourage you as graduates to do – is not only take risks and don’t be afraid to step outside the box, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box,” says Henderson.
The class of 2022 was not the only group recognized during the ceremony. The Hinds AHS Golden Class of 1972 was also given a special honor. They were able to walk across the stage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation. The class also presented a $2,158 check to the college for scholarships.
Across all campuses, Hinds awarded 1,610 certificates and degrees meaning among the 1,273 students that graduated, many of them received more than one degree or credential.
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