Students celebrate Bermuda College graduation
Bermuda College celebrated the graduation of 142 students yesterday.
Hundreds of family and friends cheered as the students collected their qualifications.
Zita Pitt, who earned an associate in science (nursing) degree said students had overcome problems both on and off campus.
Ms Pitt said she always wanted to be a nurse, but she was not ready and dropped out when she first came to Bermuda College in 1998.
She said: “Life is all about choices and at that time I didn’t make smart ones, but I came to the point when I had to re-evaluate my life.
“Suddenly, and without warning, my life changed. I learnt that my dad was terminally ill and it turned out he had been sick for quite some time.
“I became his caregiver and during this time of caring for my dad, it reminded me of my dream of becoming a registered nurse.”
Ms Pitt re-enrolled at the college in 2012 in the nursing assistant programme with a new sense of purpose.
She said: “I never gave up hope, and neither should anyone else when things don’t go as planned.
“We all made a firm decision to pursue a college degree.
“I know there were some times for us all that we thought about packing up the books and giving up and it would have been much easier to have thrown in the towel.
“That was not the choice that lies deep within all of us. We continued along this path and stuck it out through thick and thin.”
Ms Pitt added: “We are here together because we endured our fight and emerged victorious.”
Among the graduates were 16 students who earned certificates in applied science technology through a dual-enrolment programme with CedarBridge Academy and Berkeley Institute.
Duranda Greene, president of Bermuda College, said the students would enter a changing world.
She said: “Crowdfunding, cybersecurity, digital wallets, driverless cars, fintech, robotics. The list goes on.
“Some of these are said to be transformative technologies, while some of them are truly disruptive technology that will change all our lives, just like the internet.”
Dr Greene said the graduates should accept that change will happen, face their fears and look for positives in the change.
She added: “Life is about change and uncertainty, but it is also about seizing the moment and looking for the opportunities within the change and that uncertainty.
She told graduates: “As you start this next phase of your life’s journey, have the courage to explore uncharted territory.
“Be brave enough to take calculated risks, be innovative and, most important, be confident in yourselves and your abilities.”
Christopher Famous, a Progressive Labour Party MP and the guest speaker, promised he would use his position in the House of Assembly to call for increased funding for the college.
Mr Famous, a former student of the college on its technical programme, added: “I didn’t say I was going to get it, but I will ask.”
He said Bermuda College helped mould him and he praised the hard work of the parents and lecturers at the ceremony for their role in the success of the graduates.