A Celebration of Academic Achievement at the James Kerney Campus Lauds Hundreds of Adult Students


Thaddeus Godbolt of Bensalem PA (at right) receives his GED diploma on stage at Trenton’s War Memorial building May 10 during the “Celebration of Academic Achievement” of Mercer County Community College’s James Kerney Campus.

Congratulating him are, from left, MCCC President Robert Rose, MCCC Board President Skip Cimino, County Executive Brian Hughes, and GED Program Director Olfunke Ogunbodede.

Lori Meyers speaks for the 65 credit program graduates who began their studies at the James Kerney Campus. A Paralegal Studies major, Meyers plans to continue her education at Rutgers University.

Four nontraditional students spoke from their hearts on May 10 at Trenton’s War Memorial building, when Mercer County Community College’s James Kerney Campus celebrated the academic achievements of hundreds of adult students, including credit program graduates and those in three noncredit programs.

Lori Meyers of Ewing spoke for the 65 credit students graduating this month who began their college educations at the downtown Trenton campus. A Paralegal Studies major who plans to continue her education at Rutgers, Meyers has four grown children and is the first in her family to achieve a college education. “I fought through many fears,” she said.

Representing 59 graduates of the Career Training Institute (CTI), Monique Richardson of Trenton talked about returning to school for training in legal secretarial work so she can support herself and her child. In addition to providing training in office automation skills, the CTI program also trains students in culinary skills. Richardson is continuing her studies at MCCC in a credit program.

For other students, earning their high school equivalency diploma was the reason to celebrate. Chantel Ray of Trenton, who spoke for 51 GED graduates, said her achievement proved “that those who did not have faith in me were wrong.” She is now enrolled in a credit program at MCCC in special education with the goal of earning a B.A. Many other GED graduates have enrolled at MCCC and other colleges.

Olga Paz of Hamilton, a native of Guatemala, completed studies at the English Language Institute, which celebrated the achievements of 84 graduates. She spoke of her struggle to raise four children as a single mother working three jobs. She plans to continue her education in medical technology.

According to James Kerney Campus Provost Dr. Beverly Richardson, students at MCCC’s English Language Institute come from 24 different countries – from Honduras to Vietnam.

In her introduction, Richardson said “I know that many sacrifices were made for you to achieve your goals. Every year I am reminded that our students are astute enough to know that education is key to changing one’s life.”

County Executive Brian Hughes, who assisted in handing out award certificates with MCCC President Robert Rose and Board President Skip Cimino, said “It is an honor to be here to take part in this important program. You are enriching our county. Promoting education and workforce development is key.”

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was MCCC’s Don Jones, director of enrollment and student services at the James Kerney Campus. A talented musician, he led the singing of “God Bless America.” Following the awards ceremony the students and their family members were treated to refreshments provided by the Career Training Institute’s culinary students, presented dramatically on the War Memorial’s main stage.

The James Kerney Campus of Mercer County Community College, located at North Broad and Academy Streets in Trenton, also serves children and teens in several programs that promote academic success and prepare students for college.

Programs at the James Kerney Campus

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