MCC commencement a celebration of hard work

May 12, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The work is done, Diana Stithem told the crowd gathered at a near-full Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse on Friday afternoon.

Now, it’s time to start reaping the rewards.

Stithem, interim president of Mohave Community College, said the members of the Class of 2019 have a lot in common, but one trait stands out: “the desire to improve their lives through education.”

She said that the students who earned 353 associate degrees and 234 certificates of proficiency now will find more opportunities for themselves and be able to provide their families with a higher quality of life.

Just a few days ago, Stithem said, they were facing the pressures of completing final assignments and taking final exams.

“Now, it’s time to relax,” she told the estimated 287 students who participated in the commencement ceremony. “This is your special day. Enjoy it and know that you have earned it.”

Student speaker Alex Chadsey told his classmates that their journeys have just begun. He offered them a half-dozen tips as they make their way through the rest of their lives:

“Take an evaluation of yourself — find out what you’re passionate about and commit yourself fully over to it.”Don’t take life too seriously. Chadsey said life is too short to spend dealing with “things that rob you of joy.”“Give yourself completely over to excellence — we should invest the best of ourselves in everything we do.”Be humble. “Make humility a staple of your personality, and you will appear more attractive,” he said.Never stop learning. “Never be satisfied with the wealth of knowledge you have,” Chadsey said.Become a teacher. Chadsey said that he wasn’t suggesting that each of his classmates pursue a career in education. Rather, he said they should all “make sure you’re imparting positive knowledge to those around you.”

He made note of the paths that many graduates took: long hours and juggling classes, work and family lives.

“All those sacrifices will be rewarded many times over,” Chadsey said.

Nursing graduates Dana Gonzalez and Sara Corrin, both of Bullhead City, met at MCC and eventually became carpool buddies and study buddies.

“It’s easier when you have help,” Corrin acknowledged before the ceremony.

Gonzalez now is looking for work as a registered nurse. She described herself as excited and nervous, but said the hard part is over.

“It was a long road, but I finished,” she said. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Daniel Saguchi earned a liberal arts degree.

“It feels weird,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’ve graduated yet. It hasn’t hit me.”

Saguchi, as it turns out, has more MCC classes to take. He decided to switch to the nursing program when he was halfway through his original plan. He decided to finish the liberal arts degree and, in the process, complete his prerequisites for nursing.

“Two birds with one stone,” he said.

Cierra Gonzalez is now headed for a job at the Lingenfelter Center.

Gonzalez, of Kingman, said she earned her nursing degree in part with the help and support of her boyfriend, Joseph Petersen.

“I told her she could do it the whole way,” Petersen said. “I knew she could — and she did it.”