|Members of the River Parishes Community College class of 2016 gather backstage at the Lamar Dixon Center awaiting their cue to enter their commencement ceremony.
Gonzales - Equipped with Associate Degrees for transfer
and credentials for workforce in high-skilled areas like process technology, welding,
and drafting, the 269 members of the River Parishes Community College class of
2016 graduated this week.
Telling an audience of more
than 1,700 family members and friends that Louisiana leads the nation in the
number of adults with technical certification in job skills, Chancellor Dale
Doty, said, “The reason many of our graduates tonight took longer than
two-years to complete their degree is that they hold jobs, have families and
are contributing to their community.”
Doty said the student body at
RPCC contains all ages, all backgrounds and all educational levels.
“It is not too late for any
of you in the audience to come take a class at RPCC,” Doty said.
As proof of his statement,
children cheered their mothers and fathers who stepped on stage to accept their
diploma, and classmates applauded as the procession of graduates old, young,
and in between made its way to the stage; some starting careers, others
advancing their careers, and some changing careers completely.
Sporting a photograph of her
children mounted on her mortarboard with the statement “I’m doing this for
them!” student body president Danyelle Parrish took only a short evening’s
break to accept her degree in biology. She’s currently enrolled in RPCC’s
Licensed Practical Nurse program, which is still underway.
“I decided to continue with
the positive changes in my life and the life of my family. I don’t care how
hard and long I have to work, I will finish my training and take this big step
into our future,” Parrish said.
River Parishes Community
College focuses on building the workforce of today and tomorrow through specific
skill training and providing transferrable courses and curricula leading to
certification and associate degrees. RPCC works closely with its communities
to provide programs for personal, professional and academic growth.