104 students receive GED or high school equivalency

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Normando Semenko (left) and BBCC President Dr. Terry Leas take a moment before the graduation ceremony for a photo.

Normando Semenko (left) and BBCC President Dr. Terry Leas take a moment before the graduation ceremony for a photo. Semenko was the student speaker at the ceremony and also was awarded a $500 scholarship to attend Big Bend in the fall.

MOSES LAKE — Big Bend Community College (BBCC) celebrated new beginnings Wednesday night along with 104 students and their families who received their General Equivalency Diploma (GED®) or High School Equivalency at a celebration ceremony inside the Wallenstien Theater on the BBCC campus.

More than 700 students enrolled in the Transitional Studies Programs at Big Bend have earned diplomas during the last four years (2014-19).

“Getting my GED® and attending Big Bend Community College is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life,” said BBCC Transitional Studies graduate Miguel Cruz. “I hope that you don’t stop here but continue in your pursuit of higher education … it is an investment that is going to pay dividends in the long run.”

Just a few years ago, Cruz was a graduate from the Transitional Studies program. He will be graduating on Friday (June 14) with a Direct Transfer Degree in Agriculture and will be transferring to WSU this fall to begin his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Field Crop Management.

The ceremony is typically one of the most positive and emotional events held on campus each year. The college loans caps and gowns to the honorees, which makes for a more meaningful ceremony, good photographs, and memories.

A highlight of the evening is always an open microphone for high school diploma and GED recipients to tell their stories and thank their families as well. This year’s group of honorees ranged in age from 18 to 79. 

“It is so inspiring to hear the stories of our students and how they have been able to overcome challenges to reach this point in their lives.  We are very proud of them.  Now that they have earned their diploma and know how to succeed academically, we hope all of them continue with a college education,” said Vice President of Learning and Student Success, Dr. Bryce Humpherys.

At last night’s ceremony, students also heard from student speaker Normando Semenko.

“As we take the next steps in our (lives) it is important to remember that graduation is not the end, it’s only the beginning,” Semenko said. “There are many things that we can do … some of us will continue to college and focus on new careers, and some of us may go straight into the workforce. These are all great opportunities that we can now pursue to better our lives and futures.”

For more photos, visit the Big Bend Community College Facebook album HERE!