(HARLINGEN, Texas) – “I made it!” and “my journey is over” were among the phrases heard by Texas State Technical College graduates at TSTC’s Spring 2022 Commencement held Tuesday, April 26, at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg.
More than 270 graduates from TSTC’s Harlingen campus raised their diplomas with enthusiasm and accepted certificates of completion or associate degrees.
Amanda Posada, interim provost at TSTC’s Harlingen campus and the college’s statewide dual enrollment executive director, said she wanted to ensure that this commencement ceremony really celebrated TSTC students’ success.
“It is important that our graduates celebrate this occasion in the presence of their family and friends,” she said. “We want to recognize our students for their hard work in completing their degree or certificate and to highlight the industry they will be working in. They have dedicated their time and persevered. Now they will enter the workforce with training and skills needed to be successful.”
For many of the graduates, a new career begins soon, while others will meet with potential employers to begin a new chapter.
Pedro Hernandez, of Brownsville, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology. Hernandez is following in his father’s footsteps as a mechanic.
“Walking across that stage was amazing!” he said. “I worked hard to achieve this degree. I will be celebrating with my family at dinner afterward. Next week I start my new job as an assistant manager at AutoZone.”
Rolando Reyna, of Harlingen, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biomedical Equipment Technology. Reyna said he always had an interest in disassembling items and putting them back together. A job he had as a caretaker years ago piqued his interest in health care. Now he has a job interview with a company where he recently completed an internship.
“This is a milestone that will stay with me forever,” he said of receiving his degree. “My wife and children are here in attendance. I am blessed to set an example for them. We are going to celebrate at a seafood restaurant after the ceremony.”
Caitlan Gonzalez, of San Benito, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Construction Technology. Gonzalez’s father, who owns an asphalt company, inspired her to enroll in the program. Her objective is to be an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector.
“I am still in shock that I graduated,” she said.
Giovanna De La Torre, of Brownsville, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Da La Torre pursued the program through a suggestion from her boyfriend’s cousin.
“Graduating honestly feels amazing,” she said. “I am grateful I had an amazing support system. I am planning to shadow for a potential job opportunity at an area clinic.”
Fabian Rodriguez, of Elsa, graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics Technology. Rodriguez became interested in the program through his father, who is an electrician. He said he enjoyed the program because it is well-rounded with various career avenues to choose from.
“It feels great to walk the stage in front of my family,” he said. “We are going to dinner afterward. Then it is back to work tomorrow at the city of Elsa.”
Registration for the summer and fall semesters is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.