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.
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.
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
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
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
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