a bearded man talks to a man with a graduation gown and cord

(ABILENE, Texas) – More than 100 students were recognized during Texas State Technical College’s Summer 2023 Commencement ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Abilene Convention Center.

Students were presented with Associate of Applied Science degrees or certificates of completion in various programs offered at TSTC’s campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater.

Andy Weaver, provost of the West Texas campuses, congratulated the graduates.

“Each of you chose TSTC for different reasons, but had one goal: to get a great-paying job. You now have the skills you need to be a productive member of the Texas workforce,” he said. “As you move on to the next chapter in your life, remember that you will always be part of the TSTC family.”

Courtney Acosta, a graduate of the Emergency Medical Services program, said she planned to celebrate earning a certificate of completion with a plate of nachos.

“Tonight is a large accomplishment for me,” she said. “I am from a family that did not have a lot of opportunities to go to college. They are proud of what I have accomplished.”

Lori Cervantes, who received a certificate of completion in Business Management Technology, said commencement marked a milestone in her life.

“Tonight means everything to me. This has been a lifelong goal for me,” she said. 

Prior to the commencement ceremony, TSTC honored the Associate Degree in Nursing graduates during a pinning ceremony. Each graduate received a nurse’s pin that they will wear in the workforce, and an instructor pinned them on as a celebration of their accomplishment.

The graduates honored were Katreana Bartholomew, Savana Browne, Rena Cummings, Lacey Follbaum, Irmalinda Garcia, Marissa Gonzales, Vanessa McCoy, Marcus Olvera, Sierra Quinonez, Tori Ramsey, Gladys Rogers, Kaylie Skoviera, Blatiney Velez, Lauren Whitehurst and Samantha Williams.

Cummings was elected by her classmates to speak about their educational journey.

“Shine bright — spread your love and compassion for taking care of others. We are the ones that can make a difference during a person’s challenging time of their life,” she said. “People will remember you. They may not remember what you said, they may not remember what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel during the care you provided to them.”

Each nursing graduate now is able to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be a registered nurse and can work in hospitals, day-surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, physicians’ offices and home health care agencies, among other areas.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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